8 Ways To Handle Annoying Relatives This Christmas

Christmas is literally just around the corner and unless you are Ebenezer Scrooge, there is probably a little part of you that doesn't really mind the festive season too much. You may even love it!


It's great to see the family, but we all have 1 (or 10) relatives that we would rather stay at home.

Remember its not supposed to be about stress - they are your family, so showing a bit of love costs nothing. BUT this does not always work! Here are a few ways that you can defuse potentially explosive situations and ensure that you have a great time!

  1. Make a plan - its best to  write it down, but even a mental plan goes a long way in helping you be prepared. Googling  a few retorts to Grandma's comment about why you are not listening to your biological clock will go a long way to making you feel in-control and clever.
  2. Have a think about what actually triggers you - and think about your response - it may be just taking a few deep breaths, or even making a trip to the bathroom so you can have a little bit of alone time. If you identify what annoys you the most, chances are you will feel far more prepared.
  3. There is a wealth of control in the well-placed nod, smile or even random "uh-huh". Practise your smile in front of the mirror and think "gracious"
  4. Be the perfect relative - compliment people when they first arrive " Aunty Jan, what a fabulous dress", or "oh great nana, your brought your legendary pavlova" Don't lie - find something nice to say that you genuinely feel ( this may be a bit challenging, but again, practice first and on the day,  all of a sudden it is a whole lot easier). This is a great way of  getting them off guard - often they forget all about the snarky things that were going to say! 
  5. If complimenting them doesn't work - be honest and tell them that that question makes you uncomfortable as you really don't want  to answer it right now. The true stops even the most annoying relative in their tracks. Again - PRACTICE PRACTICE PRACTICE - in front of the mirror or even  us your partner as a sounding board - works like magic!
  6. Start a few interesting conversations of your own to take the emphasis of you - subjects such as the current health care system or politics are always good - but stay away from really sensitive topics such as the vaccination debate or gay marriage for example, unless you want it to end up a slanging match.
  7.  Don't overdrink or overeat - this will make you feel dreadful and not help your situation at all. Of course it's Christmas, so imbibing in a  few rum balls - or that fabulous pavlova, goes with the season. But 1 slice is enough. Also  be careful of how much alcohol you drink. A great way to help moderate your drinking is by drinking approx 750ml of water ( bubbly water  seems to work even better) BEFORE you go and allow 1 glass of water between each drink - I always bring loads of sparkling mineral water with me. It's quite the done thing now, so everyone will think that you are terribly posh - especially if you treat yourself to  really good quality one. 
  8. BREATHE! Take a few deep abdominal breaths before you even go - 5 deep belly breaths work so well. You can also disengage a  little by offering to wash up etc - the sink it a great place to take a few more of those breaths, as is the bathroom and even the garden.. " Uncle Max, I am just going to have a look at your lovely garden - you have done such a great job with it..."

So be gracious, be nice and try not to take anything too personally - it is Christmas and how wonderful will it feel knowing that you didn't is to anybody's taunts, insults or snarky comments. They will be the ones going home thinking about their behaviour next year.

Have a fabulous Christmas and eat, drink and be Merry!