Make Your Holiday Season Less Awkward

awkward-family-moments-photo-by-donna-daygetty-imagesThe holidays are almost here! For me, that means even more lists than usual,

  • lists of gifts to get my friends and family
  • to-do lists for decorating my apartment
  • grocery lists for Christmas cookies!

Still, all that planning can’t always prepare you for the awkwardness that comes with the holidays. Even though I get along great with my family, that isn’t the case for everyone, and even the closest families can have a grandfather with no filter.

“Why are you still single?” and “Have you put on weight?” may be rude questions that are certainly hard to hear, but your family might only be asking because they care. Before jumping for confrontation or running for the door, try some of these strategies next time you encounter holiday awkwardness:

  1. Change the subject. Women’s Day suggests skirting around awkward questions and then changing the subject to avoid having to answer them directly. For example, if someone asks what happened with your job, you can reply by talking about a new opportunity you’re excited about.
  2. Be vague. Sometimes topics are too uncomfortable to discuss and being vague is a polite way of addressing them. If the person persists after you give a vague answer, then you can tell them that the question makes you uncomfortable.
  3. Be honest. And sometimes an honest answer is enough to make people realize that what they asked you in the first place was really rude.
  4. Excuse yourself. An advantage of a party setting is that there are usually people and places to escape to. If you can’t face holiday awkwardness head on, escape it by offering to help another relative in the kitchen.

Still nervous about your Thanksgiving plans? Try bringing up current events or discussing how great the food is. If that doesn’t work for you, try preventing awkward questions all together with this list of more great things you can say in awkward social situations.

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