5 Ways to avoid holiday conflict when your family is just the worst

5 Ways to avoid holiday conflict when your family is just the worst

CultureNovember 22, 2017

*sniiiiffffff* You smell that? It's cinnamon drenched pinecones and whatever pesticides China uses to ship plastic consumable junk overseas — must be the holidays again. 

And with them comes a litany of problems, especially if your family leans on the side of Hot Toddy-induced havoc and merry bigotry. To help, we found four (and one bonus) ways to get you through the next month-and-a-half of being with the family.

1. Get Over It

You had some aggressive online banter with your gun-lovin’ cousin Siobahn arguing that whole lion and the dentist debacle many, many posts ago. So what. In his book “The Four Agreements,” Don Miguel Ruiz openly admits he just doesn’t give much thought to these types of occurrences. “There is a huge amount of freedom that comes to you when you take nothing personally,” he says. Time to move on.

2. Up Your Self-awareness

Listen Bright Eyes, regardless of how the Internet pampers you with likes, the family member people hate being around could very well be you. Take stock in exactly what kind of a person you are and either own it or step down a few rungs from that high horse for a few hours. We’re sure you can keep your blog-injected political ideology quiet while the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade plays in the background, yeah?

3. Set Some Damn Boundaries

Let your dumbass relatives know where you stand. Text them beforehand and say, “I really want to see you, but if I hear criticism, if I hear yelling, if I hear insults about my intelligence, that will tell me you’re not in a space to be around me, and … I won’t be able to be in the same house as you,” says Dr. Craig Malkin, a clinical psychologist and instructor at Harvard Medical School. If they then slip, you’ve made your escape easier and with merit.

4. Punch Them With Kindness

If those several cheerful drinks are making it so you can’t hold your tongue, go for the sarcastic, internally pleasing routine of handling things jolly as fuck. “That sweater is soo beautiful Aunt Precious; no don’t bother to get up I’ll take your plate — it’s quite light, I see you ate everything faster than everyone else this year.” Sarcasm and passive aggressively insulting everyone isn’t what the experts would advise, but who ever said this office had any experts?