Face it, it’s going to happen – those relentless awkward questions that your family members ask during the holidays are almost here. It’s likely that you’ve done an excellent job dodging these questions over the year but now it’s the holidays and you can’t hide anymore.
First things first, work on your ability to stay calm. Learn how to channel your inner calmness and refocus your energy on something else. Don’t allow a family member’s question to get the best of you. Remember, it only feels like you’re being cornered because it’s the holidays and everyone is together. Odds are you haven’t had a lot of communication with the family member proposing awkward questions therefore, it’s not intentional and they’re most likely really interested in your life and well-being.
Once you’ve tamed your responsive attitude, think of conversation sliders – these are topics that you can insert into a conversation that will help take the focus off of things you don’t want to discuss. For example, for individuals going through a recent break up, the last thing you’ll want to discuss is how you’re making it in the single world. Think of a discussion topic that your relatives will find interesting. If the New York Football Giants are struggling this year, and they’re fans, then ask Google for some suggestions on how the team can improve their performance. Then when you’re in mid break-up discussion, opt to change the subject with your newfound information. Odds are they’ll be caught off guard and refocus the conversation towards the new topic you’ve brought forth.
Changing the subject with a conversation slider will help keep the peace and provide a gateway for avoiding those awkward questions without being abrupt and rude.
Another great way to respond to those uncomfortable questions is by responding with a good sense of humor. When your grandmother asks if you’re seeing anyone, you can respond with, “Yes, I’ve seen a lot of people when I went shopping the other day at the mall.” Prepare yourself because it may take a few humorous responses before the questions will be dropped but having a sense of humor will act as a combative tool to shut down the unraveling conversation. Eventually your relatives will get the point and eventually stop asking uncomfortable questions.
When your sense of humor is drained, you can always look for ways to stay busy. Ask the hostess if there is anything you can do to help for the dinner or festivities. Keeping busy will provide less of an opportunity for questions to be asked. Also, completing a task provides you with a way out of answering relentless questions. You can use the excuse that you’re busy trying to prepare dinner or cleaning up the festivities.
All in all, it’s important to remember that the holidays are the perfect time to regroup as a unit and spend quality time with family. Try your best to stay positive and keep the true meaning behind the holiday within your heart. Instead of focusing on awkward conversations, do your best to take advantage of the time you have with loved ones and make memories.