5 Quick [Written] Tips For Visiting Annoying Family Members During The Holidays (And Beyond)

Do you dread family gatherings because everyone is annoying to deal with? Here’s how to make your visits bearable (without being sedated).

simpsons at each other's throats

The holidays are literally on our doorsteps with Christmas being a few days away. Aside from the usual stress of buying gifts (and going broke buying them), there comes anxiety and burden when visiting family. Some of us have a bourgeois aunt who complains about her “low class” gifts all night. Others might have a creepy uncle who constantly tells us how “grown” and beautiful we’ve become (while licking his lips). And sometimes, the evening ends with a major bombshell dropped in the midst of a family argument. In any case, these tips will help you endure any family antics or drama.


Tip #5: Pre-Plan How Long You’re Going To Stay

plan to leave


If you’re traveling to your family’s house for the holidays, PLAN how long you will be there. While an hour is probably ideal for most of us, stick it out and stay between 2 and 3 hours. That way, your family doesn’t give you the side eye for leaving too early. It also gives you enough time to briefly catch up with everyone and enjoy some food. If you live with your parents and they’re hosting, take it back to teenage years when we went to our rooms because we were “tired”. You too can escape the madness.


Tip #4: Prepare For The Uncomfortable Questions

With family functions, especially if you’re a woman, we are asked life questions we don’t even have the answers to. They usually come from our grandmothers, aunts, or nosey cousins who will gossip to everyone else. Questions include, but are not limited to:

“You’re already 25–when are you going to settle down?”
“So your dad told me you just lost your job. How’s that going for you?”
“You’re so young and haven’t figured out life yet? When I was your age, I was married with 5 kids”

And 9 times out of 10, we are put on the spot and have to come up with an answer. Best way to deal with this is to be prepared for all the crazy questions your family will ask you. It’s like going to a job interview. Just like you would become familiar with questions your potential employer would ask, have the same mindset for your family. You may not have the answers they’re looking for, but sounding confident is way better than being taken off guard. Trust me, no one has all the answers to life’s questions, but own it! Your family will ask for years to come, so you don’t need to give an award-winning speech as your answer. Unless it’s a Viola Davis speech, of course.

viola davis


Tip #3: Get With Your Clique

find your clique

As much as we don’t like to admit it, our families can be clique-ish. Usually, our aunts are having conversations like they’re on The Real. Our uncles are having their version of SportsCenter in another room. Where do we fit in? With the people who are closest to our age–our cousins. You may dread seeing too many family members at once, but you can always find comfort with your clique. Who cares if your Aunt Shirley has an attitude because you didn’t say “hi” to her first? Laugh about it with your clique. They will get you through the night a lot easier than if you were on your own.


Tip #2: Don’t Add To The Drama

dont kill my vibe

Negativity breeds negativity, but don’t get caught up! If you have family drama (like the rest of us), leave it between the people who have beef. It is so easy to get in the midst of arguing and shade being thrown, but leave the room if you have to. For those who can’t escape the bickering, stay out of it. The last thing you want is to be dragged into a Civil War between your family. Feel free to watch from afar though. Sometimes those arguments are filled with a lot of tea.

watch from afar


Tip #1: Have Fun & Turn Up!

turn up

Being around family isn’t all bad. Regardless of the closeness or bond, find a middle ground and have fun. We don’t always get to see our families and you never know when it will be the last time. You can’t avoid spending time with them, so make the best of it! Play Taboo or For The Culture to ease any tension and create a fun environment. Pour a drink (or three) and just go with the flow. No family is perfect, so love and embrace your own no matter how annoying it may be.

black family

Want to add a tip to the list? Drop a comment below!

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