How to Cope with Impending Family Dinners

While we grow up under the close supervision of a family, everything that relatives live and breathe is absorbed into us. All ingrained patterns and stereotypes, or maybe, on the contrary, signs that are completely alien to other families. The child does not have much choice – he has to go with the flow, periodically attending feasts for large and small occasions. Until a certain age, it is funny to be on them, then it is strange, and after that it is completely uncomfortable.

When you stop seeing a wide circle of relatives too often, the memory of all the rules of interaction among them is a little erased. Habits change, perhaps the way people communicate, interests and political views. All this can become a battleground at a big family dinner: one awkward question or a remark – and you are already a child again, who is being taught by your elders.

In order not to turn the holiday meeting into a reminder of old grievances and disagreements, here are some tips to help you during the upcoming vacation.


Of course, you already have your own (and quite extensive) experience behind you, but this does not mean that you need to start your dinner with a triumphant ascent to the throne of an opinion leader. You have not been seen for a long time and have missed you, you should not turn dinner into a meeting with new employees. Be discreet in your efforts to teach, prove, and persuade. Everyone will still remain with their truth, just waste your nerves.


If you don’t feel like having a meeting for endless explanations about the nature of your career, personal life and everything else: ask counter questions. Stretch your memory or ask your next of kin for the latest family news. The faster you move the arrows to the more juicy details of the lives of others, the less you will get.


Surprise everyone and show up not empty-handed. Find some kind of family game or stock up on original gifts, these things really brighten up a simple feast. Interactive distracts from long and difficult conversations, and the team spirit wakes up with renewed vigor.


Even if you don’t drink or eat something, you don’t have to report it right off the bat. You can politely refuse in the process, so the emphasis will shift, and you will not have to indulge in long and laborious explanations about the choice you made. There is no need to heat up the situation when everyone has just gathered and anticipated the upcoming fun.


When your inner child starts to come up at the most inopportune moment, pull him back with the utmost rigor. Try to show your best side, be discreet and moderately serious. It is better to move all old experiences (at least for a while) away, let go of the bad ones and enjoy the holiday.

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