Thanksgiving is right around the corner. And that means two things for sure: you will eat too much and you are going to have to work hard to keep your family from driving you crazy.
Here are 15 mini-aggressions likely to assault you on turkey day and how you can keep them from robbing your peace of mind.
1. When are you going to get married?
If you are single and over the age of 21, you will get asked this question.
One possible retort: "Thanks for asking. I am not ready to settle down yet but when I get engaged, I'll let you know."
2. How much money are you making?
Most family members won't come right out and ask you this one. But they'll come up with all sorts of questions designed to help them figure out whether you are more highly paid than their daughter.
You could say, "I am enjoying my job and am continuing to do challenging and interesting work with people I respect. What more could I ask for?"
3. Did you hear about your cousin Rich?
People like to brag about their children. If your uncle has a son your age named Rich, he will let you know just how great Rich is and challenge you to prove you're better.
Don't take the bait. Just respond, "I am sure you are proud of Rich's accomplishments and I am happy for him."
4. When am I going to see some grandchildren?
If you're married, your parents will remind you that they're not getting any younger. Just tell them, "We will make no wine before its time."
5. How soon before you get a promotion?
This question is sure to make you squirm. You could ask your aunt to tell you about how she got her first promotion.
6. Don't you just love Donald Trump?
Do you enjoy listening to your cousin tell you about how much he loves Donald Trump and can't wait until he becomes president? Maybe you don't.
In response say, "Since I see you so rarely, let's talk about something that makes us both happy. How are your children?"
7. Do you want to hear about my latest investment?
This question might be one you answer yes -- especially if the asker is a successful investor.
But more likely this investment is a terrible idea and your brother will try to convince you he's the next Warren Buffett.
In that case, you can excuse yourself to get a drink of water.
8. Let me tell you about our around-the-world cruise
This is another one you might want to listen to -- but only if you have been dreaming about taking one of your own.
Otherwise you will be in for a long, one-sided bragging session during which you will be expected to sound really impressed.
You could try to cut that off by offering to show your cousin all 250 pictures from your hike up the Appalachian Trail last summer.
9. If Hillary Clinton gets elected I'm leaving the country
Unless you agree with this assertion, you will want to walk quickly in the other direction.
10. Did you gain weight?
This "helpful" question is guaranteed to make you feel terrible. You could answer it by saying, "Yes I did. Can you tell me how you stay in such great shape?"
11. I had an operation this summer
If you are a surgeon, you might have a professional insight that you can share after hearing this story.
But chances are the best way to answer this one is to say, "I hope it was successful and that you're feeling better."
12. How's your sister's new job?
This might be a sincere question that you can feel comfortable answering. Or it might be your grandfather's way of reminding you how much more successful she is than you.
You might answer, "I haven't spoken with her about it yet. I am sure she would love to hear from you. Why don't you ask her?"
13. Can you help me get a job at Morgan Stanley?
If you work at Morgan Stanley, don't be too shocked if someone in your family wants a job there.
If you think that family member would be a valuable addition to the staff, you should offer practical advice on how to apply.
Otherwise, you could ask her what her career goals are and try to steer her in the right direction.
14. Do you want to invest in my new company?
If you have a track record of investing in companies like the one your aunt is starting, you might ask her to send you a business plan.
Otherwise, you might suggest that she seek investment from people who would be able to help her business grow through their advice and capital.
15. I have a lump on my back, can you look at it and tell me if it's cancer?
If you are a doctor, lawyer, accountant or any other professional, a family member may ask you to provide a free service at Thanksgiving.
You could answer the question or you could suggest that your relative contact your office to set up an appointment.
As nice as it is to get together for Thanksgiving, you should make time for fresh air.
Suggest that your family members go outside and rake leaves, play football, or walk around the neighborhood.
Thanksgiving comes just once a year -- make the best of it.