How to deal with family over the holidays

Jordan Sheppard | Staff Writer

Thanksgiving is approaching us. With the food-laden holiday right around the corner, this signals that the holiday season is about to be in full effect.

Holiday season is a time that is jam-packed with joyful cheer and celebration. It is meant to be spent with those you cherish the most. You feast with them on Thanksgiving, show appreciation with gift exchanges in December and then celebrate the new year.

For many, the holiday season is the best part of the year, but there are many who dread it, and it is due to one common denominator: having to deal with family members.

Most people have experienced the cousin, aunt or other family members prying into their personal life, asking invasive questions and making rude comments.

Ranging from questions about your relationship status, your physical appearance and your life choices, unnecessary stress and drama can be created at a time when you are supposed to be enjoying the holidays.

For second-year college student Tynesha Smith, dealing with family who constantly cross the line adds more stress that she already has from school.

“I’m coming back home to get away from the stress of college, so bringing it up now is making me feel uncomfortable,” she said. “I’m thinking of all the work I have to do, and I’m not enjoying the break I deserve.”

So how do you handle dealing with rude comments and questions without causing an intense situation?

According to former FBI agent Joe Navarro, in his article “Ten Ways to Keep Family Members from Ruining Your Holidays,” written for Psychology Today, some of the best ways are to “set boundaries on what you will and will not tolerate” and to “recognize reality and don’t sugarcoat it.”

Navarro believes the best way to handle situations such as these is to immediately make it clear to your family what is acceptable, what is appropriate to ask and what is not.

When those lines are crossed, address the problem and try to solve it without delay, so the person’s behavior is not repeated through the rest of the night.

Other ways of dealing with it is by removing yourself from the situation or complete avoidance of those members.

“I don’t deal with them,” junior Wakeelah Bashir said. “It’s like they are not even there.”

While ignoring the existence of someone may not help a situation, it is sometimes the best action to take. The holidays should be a time to celebrate and not a time to be stressful and possibly get into an altercation with someone.

Family is your first introduction to relationships when you come into this world, and while family is blood, it does not give them a pass to behave any kind of way.

Family can have some of your best friends. They also can be the people you don’t want to be around at all.


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