5 Tips For Deflecting Relatives Over the Holidays

The holiday season is upon us, and that means sharing dinners, brunches and eggnog with beloved relatives. And sharing foodstuffs with beloved relatives means that inevitably, you will be bombarded with questions about some topic that you don’t want to discuss.

If you’re unemployed, it will be your job search. If you’re single, it will be your relationship status. If you’re married, it will be your plans for children. And if you’re a parent, it will be as to whether this is “really how you’re raising your children.”

In other words, no one is free from the intrusions and unsolicited “advice” of relatives! Here are a few tips for dealing:

  1. Get absolutely shitfaced. You’ll have to deal with subsequent questions about why you’re an alcoholic, but it will feel good at the time.
  2. Channel a ninja. Imagine that you have to dodge every spiky-edged comment that comes your way. Fun, invigorating, and effective.
  3. Distract them by wearing a costume. If you show up with reindeer horns or a full-body bear costume, people will never know that your heart is breaking underneath it.
  4. Make a list of everyone’s dirty secrets, and bring them up. Maybe your Uncle Henry cheated on your Aunt Cindy, but they’re trying to sweep it under the rug — ask her about it in response to her inquiry about why you still don’t have a job after ten months of unemployment. It will only take you doing this to one or two unlucky people before everyone decides to shut the fuck up.
  5. Spend the holidays with some of your closest stuffed animal friends. They have a way of knowing when to stop asking questions.
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    • Amy;s Cooking Adventures

      Haha…love the dirty little secrets idea…I just might have to try it…

      Amy’s Cooking Adventures

    • Lilit Marcus

      I feel like there should be an extra sentence at the end – when all else fails, repeat step 1. Or maybe that’s just what I do.

      • bodo

        You are not alone!

    • Eileen

      Have a big family, especially one with lots of small children. Then, when things start to get uncomfortable with one relative, just notice another one and exclaim over how long it’s been since you’ve seen him/her. Then hide out in your trusty cousin’s room and bitch with her about how, seriously, you’ll date whom you please (and seriously or not seriously, as you please).

    • Lindsay Cross

      I have to admit, in these situations, I use my daughter as an excuse. Everytime my in-laws start baiting me into a political debate, I suddenly need to check on the kids. Really, I can get away from any conversation, mid-sentence. It’s pretty helpful.

    • Venus in Furs

      I’m going to try to channel my inner-ninja. If ninja plan fails, I will definitely get shit-faced. I might do that anyway.

    • Meggeh

      As a child, my relatives were always embarrassingly unrelatable, antiquated, and constantly asking me either when I would stop wearing my ‘hussy’ clothes, or if I was a lesbian, and if so, had I heard about what God did to gay people?

      My solution was to bring along a good, lengthy book. I would weather at least enough abuse to be seen eating some sort of (preferably perishable) food, and then lock myself in the downstairs bathroom with the book, all the while claiming that I was a terrible intestinal mess and nobody could possibly want to check up on me enough to muscle through the resultant odor. And then, I would read.

      Happy Thanksgiving!

    • Koukita

      Why are you single? Because I like it.
      Aren’t we going to celebrate your marriage/engagement etc…and be happy with you: Are you sad for me now? lol

      Is there someone special?: “Dumbfounded” someone special? Like what?
      And why do you ask?