It’s not about how difficult your family is. It’s about how you perceive a family gathering. We will talk about several important tips to consider before you sit down to have a chat with your parents and relatives.
Although family meetings are all about fun and love, such gatherings usually cause lots of stress or negative energy. Instead of feeling closer to our family members, they often do or say something that makes us explode internally.
Even if your family is the most harmonic family in the world, you surely have struggled with excessive questions about your privacy, criticism related to your job or college, or comments about your friends and even partner.
Well, we found a way to overcome all unpleasantness, and we are willing to share our tips with you to help you survive the next big family gathering.
Work on your smile
If your uncle starts to tease you about your physical appearance, such as ”Oh, looks like you shouldn’t eat today, you’ve already gained some weight”, or if your aunt says something we are all sensitive to ”When will we get to meet your partner?”, or if your grandma asks ”When will you get married?”, all you should do is to put the biggest possible smile on your face and continue with your life.
If you show them that you are uncomfortable, they’ll probably continue, and you’ll start allocating each family member a place in Dante’s nine circles of hell.
The only smart solution is so simple – nod and smile.
That way, you’ll avoid that unpleasant silence after your entire family starts staring at you, waiting for the answers. If you adjust yourself correctly, no one will be able to make you feel bad!
To put it simply, your positive attitude will show your family members that you are mature, and that such remarks have no effect on you. If you accept all jokes with a smile on your face, they’ll get bored so they’ll probably stop.
Moreover, you should remember that they don’t know much about the details of your personal life and that such stupid jokes are the only way for them to start a conversation with you.
Focus only on small talk
Deep conversations can lead only to deeper conversations, and it’s known that extremely meaningful talks are an excellent playground for disagreements. It’s only one day or a few hours at dinner, so don’t make it complicated.
You’ll have exactly enough time to make small talk with each family member. Well, get prepared to tell the same story over and over again, but it’s still better than sitting around the table with your entire family and discussing the mysteries of life.
Besides, small talk doesn’t include politics, so you’ll surely avoid that nightmare.
Instead of mumbling something about politics and getting bored, ask your relatives about their health, talk about the weather, make a joke, bring up a fun childhood anecdote, share some basic information about your personal life, and that’s it, move on.
No matter how hard the situation is, don’t drink alcohol
Sure that a few glasses of the wine can help you relax and survive a bunch of unpleasant situations, but the family gathering definitely isn’t a place to relax.
Besides you’ll probably mumble something you normally wouldn’t say, they will be concerned about you drinking so much, just like that one uncle who never really got his life together, and your ”drinking problem” will become the main topic of every future family meeting.
If you’re going to learn from mistakes, it’s better to learn from others’ mistakes.
So, forget about alcohol and find another way to survive.
Stories about family members you actually can’t remember and remarks about Trump will surely bore you, so instead of drinking next to your grandpa, try to get up, sit next to someone else, and concentrate on a new conversation.
They actually aren’t that bad
Even if it looks like your entire family has joined forces to destroy you with rehearsed comments and questions, their goal is way different. Since you probably see them only a few times per year or rarer, they just want to get to know you better and find out what kind of a person that little kid they remember has become.
If you don’t want to share your private information with them, that’s fine, but you actually should give them a peek and get them off your back.
As your younger relatives grow, they’ll become the subject of questioning, and you’ll realize how old and boring you’ve become. Even if your family members are annoying, remember that they are the only family you have and that you can’t choose or change them.
Try to enjoy their company and remember what it’s all about
Since the primary goals of family meetings are sharing, forgiving, and having fun, be happy that you have a big family, whether it’s a perfect one or a little bit dysfunctional, and enjoy their company. Even if you don’t like some jokes, don’t take it personally, no one wants to hurt you.
You can choose your friends, but family is predefined, and you should learn how to spend quality time with them, even if you’d rather go out and have real fun!
In the end, you’ll realize why such meetings happen only a few times per year, and that you’ll have enough time to prepare for the next one. We wish you lots of luck with that!