Maybe your mom’s forcing you to visit some unknown relative of yours because she’s in town, or maybe it’s Thanksgiving and you have to face people you’d really rather not face. Whatever your situation, you know from experience that it only goes from bad to worse, because these people are shit. Even so, you cannot avoid your social responsibilities and duties, which is why you’re reading this article. Cheer up! Just keep in mind these simple and easy fixes, and you’ll be golden.
How to Deal With Difficult Relatives
There are always certain topics and questions that invariably trigger your relatives. Maybe it’s their political opinions that you abhor or maybe it’s the fact that they’re always ready to argue at the drop of a hat. Whatever it is, your first option should be to completely avoid those topics. And if you can’t, then the second best thing to do is to immediately change the topic and diffuse the situation.
Expect, and keep quiet to your own triggers
Maybe they make fun of your conversion about Hinduism, maybe they wanna know when you’re having babies or maybe they can’t stop being sexist every time they open their mouth. Either way, they’re the jerk, but you also need to know that lashing out isn’t going to do you any good. You’ve tried that out, remember? So, what’s the next best thing? Smile and suffer. Or, change the topic politely when it comes to how to deal with difficult relatives, because…
You have to choose your battles
Some people exist to create trouble and rationalizing with them doesn’t work. So then it’s up to you – do you really want to create a scene during this family get-together, or would you rather take one for the team and be the bigger person this time? That’s entirely your decision. Also know that…
Nothing will ever be perfect
Especially where difficult relatives are involved. So if you’re the one who has perfect expectations from this get-together, get real. Plus, just because it didn’t go as well as you’d hoped doesn’t mean it went as badly as you’d dreaded, you know. Look at the positives.
Give no permits to alcohol
I would have said drink little to no alcohol, but we all know how bad we are with promises like that. So instead, avoid any and every negative incidents that could be aggravated by consuming too much alcohol by simply removing it from the equation.
Sounds a little out of the blue, but if it helps you with how to deal with difficult relatives, why not? Instead of complaining about what you can’t have like peace and quiet, as opposed to shit relatives, how about focusing on the things you really have? Friends and family that love you, a great emotional support system, a stable job, a loving partner, a passion you get paid to pursue… the list is pretty endless, you know.
Show patience for tradition
Look. Just because something doesn’t make sense to you doesn’t mean it gives you the right to mock or disrespect it, especially if it holds importance for someone else. More so if this tradition happens only once or twice a year. Stop being a child and think about making others happy for once, you know. Get up early that one day and help your mom cook Thanksgiving food. Or be patient with the uncle who serves you the same food every time you visit his house.
Do something fun
Scrabbles, dumb-charades, touch ball, sharing funny or embarrassing stories… there are so many activities you can be doing together, so why don’t you? Not only will that instantly improve everybody’s mood but will also help create a more positive environment overall. You can do this in two ways – either isolate the difficult relatives from the others and play with them, or play with everybody else and let those difficult relatives have fun by being difficult with each other!
Prepare the situation beforehand
If the problem is among the relatives themselves and has nothing to do with you, then it’s best for you to think beforehand how you can minimize the damage. For example, you can seat two warring relatives apart from each other as you can, or make them sit next to the talkative cousin so that the aunts and uncles do not get any time to argue with each other. Being prepared for such contingencies works wonders when it comes to how to deal with difficult relatives.
Prepare yourself beforehand
You need to be at your best, right? So do whatever you can to make you the best version of yourself on D-Day. Now that could be eating your fav snacks so that you aren’t hungry, getting enough sleep and rest, or even having a spa day to relax yourself. Do whatever it takes to be as little bitchy and cranky as you possibly can be.