What are some diplomatic answers to the stereotypical awkward questions at holiday family gatherings? originally appeared on Quora - the knowledge sharing network where compelling questions are answered by people with unique insights.
I have a very loud, nosy, often-inappropriate family. Unsolicited advice and criticism is standard at our family functions.
The best way I've found to deal with it is to immediately shut it down. I politely tell them exactly how I feel, set my boundaries very clearly, and immediately change the subject.
Here's how I answer, or would answer the following stereotypical family questions:
1. When are you getting married/"making it official"/putting a ring on it?
"Being two adults, we've decided to make that decision when it's the right time for us. We'll let you know. Please pass the turkey."
2. You look a little heavy/thin/pale/tired/sad/worried.
"Thanks for pointing that out. I actually feel great the way I am. Please pass the mac n' cheese."
3. Did you hear about insert inappropriate gossip?
"I don't talk about people behind their backs. I think it's rude and just really shows how insecure we actually are about ourselves. Please pass the butter."
3. What's your insert ex boyfriend/girlfriend/husband/wife up to this holiday?
"I don't think about him/her, especially when I'm with people who support me. I just hope they're well. Please pass the gravy."
4. When are you getting pregnant/starting a family/are you trying to get pregnant?
"We'll text you the next time we're intimate so you'll feel notified. Haha, it's really none of your business. Please pass the corn."
5. How much money do you/your partner make?
"Enough so we don't feel like we need to share our finances with other people. Please pass the cranberry sauce."
6. Why would you ever have more kids/get a dog/choose that job/get that house/move/etc.?
"Luckily, you don't need to worry about it since my choices have nothing to do with you. Please pass the stuffing."
Shut them down and change the subject. I'd rather seem a little cold then have to explain my choices or decisions. What other people think of me is really none of my business anyway.
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