Dealing with family members during the holiday is no mean task at the best of times. The Christmas season is the time far-flung families come together to catch-up. Our parents look forward to it. In theory, it is supposed to be a happy time.
However, the reality of the situation is quite different. A family holiday is a meeting of individuals with different views and agenda. There are lots of personality clashes as individuals try to assert themselves.
In large families, the likely problems become much accentuated. To say the least, it is unusual to come away with the feeling that everything went well. There is always that niggling feeling that you did something bad.
To be sure, feelings are going to be hurt. Things are going to be said that many would regret. Some family members would even vow never to be part of the family get together during the holiday again.
Things don’t have to be so dire though. With the following tips, you might learn a thing or two about dealing with family members with different characters.
Tips on dealing with family members during holidays
1. Your over-stressed mum
A family holiday at the family home invariably means your mum is the host. Chances are it was her express wish that the whole family came together at least once a year.
Like all mums, she is going to do everything to make sure she is the perfect host. What that means is that she has a lot of work to do. Trust mothers though, she’d never admit the house chores are too much as she tries to please everybody.
Most times, she’d reject any offer of help. Don’t listen to her. Insist she reduces her work-load. Find a way to share the chores with the rest of the family. But don’t overdo it because it makes her happy knowing she is taking care of you all.
Always remember to say, ‘Thanks mum’ as often as possible to show appreciation for her efforts.
2. The annoying sister with the ‘best’ anecdotes
All families have that sister or family member. They always seem to have the best experiences or better stories. Anything you say, they bring up a story that would definitely trump yours.
For instance, her reply to the amazing time you had at the local playground is an involved story at an expensive resort. Tell her you just for a promotion. She would come up with a story about how she is at the top of her organization.
She is always trying to outdo everybody.
Dealing with this sort is always tricky. Basically, they have insecurity issues and might pick up a fight if you call them out. Your best bet is to take them to a quiet place and politely ask them to tone it down.
Let them understand nobody is competing with her. She should calm down and simply enjoy the holidays with the family.
3. The political activist brother
One topic that gets everybody riled up in a family is politics and sometimes religion.
But there is always that brother who doesn’t have the good sense to steer clear of such topics. He uses every opportunity to push his political views. And he doesn’t broach any opposing political views.
If you don’t rein him in, things would definitely get out of hand.
Anytime he starts up with his views on politics, redirect the conversation by mildly joking about it and linking it to something less controversial.
That should shut him up if he has any sense at all.
4. That uncle that is always drunk
As far as dealing with family members is concerned, a drunken uncle is the most perplexing.
For instance, they tend to be lively and fun to be with. Talking to them might turn out to be disrespectful because of their age. You can enlist the help of your parents to have a talk with him.
But if you are sufficiently close to him, you can afford to upset him by telling him directly to cut down on his drinking while the whole family is around.
You certainly don’t want the kids to witness an uncle making a fool of himself, do you?
5. The TV binger
This family member never lets the remote control leave their hands. They are always glued to the TV. They are perpetually in a fixed position on the couch. They are always there at any time of the day either watching TV or dozing off.
This is annoying because they never allow others to watch anything except what they want to. Besides, they can’t be bothered to do any tasks in the house.
To get them off their lazy asses, start off immediately assigning specific daily chores to them. And if they are older than you, get the parents to help you do that.
These are just some of the personality-related problems you would encounter on a family holiday. Basically, when dealing with family members during the holidays, you must apply tack. Simply realize that you need to use a different approach for different people. It is just like life.
Feel free to tell us how you intend dealing with family members in the comment section below. Did any of the above personalities aptly describe somebody in your family?