Holidays in the Philippines meant family reunions. It’s fun to see loved ones and experience the traditions with them. However, reality sets in, and it also becomes the time of the year when people like to ask questions about life — a lot of them. Questions whether or not you have a partner or when you and your partner are getting married or when you’re going to have a baby or what exactly your business does anyway. And, it’s dreadful.
So, how can we deal with uncomfortable questions during holiday gatherings?
Basically, don’t take anything personally.
A relative can ask something that would unintentionally offend you even during a family reunion during the holiday season. Don’t take it personally and take it as an opportunity to educate them. For example, if someone doesn’t quite understand your sexuality. You can respond by saying something like, Thank you for asking. But, blah blah blah — and, explain them in a simple manner. They care about you and they just want to know more about you. So, they will appreciate you opening up and not getting annoyed with them for not being educated or not knowing.
Pivot the question to a light-hearted topic.
It’s impossible to avoid serious topics like politics and religion at family reunions. It’s both stressful and frustrating, especially during the holiday. But, you have to remember that not everyone has the same belief as you do. And, not everyone will be on the same page. You didn’t come to a family reunion just to earn their approval. If they ask your opinion about a certain topic and you don’t feel comfortable sharing, you can respond by saying, I appreciate your interest in my perspective. But, I’m actually more curious about… This will change the conversation and hopefully, talk about something lighter. You can ask them about the trip they went on or their upcoming plans for the new year or something that won’t warrant an argument.
Don’t share info that you don’t want to.
As mentioned before, it’s alright if you don’t want to share information that you don’t want. The best way to avoid getting deep into a conversation that you don’t want to be a part of at a family reunion during the holiday season, respond with something that won’t give out much information. If a family member asks about what happened to your most recent ex, give an ambiguous response like It didn’t work out, but it’s for the best! Don’t give a detailed response and protect yourself from the emotions that might come with a particular topic. Since you aren’t giving out any information, everyone will stop asking.
Keep a sidekick nearby.
There is nothing worse than feeling like you are being ganged up, especially at a family reunion. Keep a sidekick close to you. In my case, I keep close to my sisters. It’s basically asking for support ahead of time. And, prepare them ahead of time, If they come up to me about this topic, save me.
Will you be attending a family reunion this holiday season? Let us know about the uncomfortable questions that you usually get in the comments section below.
Angela Grace P. Baltan has been writing professionally since 2017. She doesn’t hesitate to be opinionated in analyzing movies and television series. Aside from that, she has an affinity for writing anything under the sun. As a writer, she uses her articles to advocate for feminism, gender equality, the LGBTQIA+ community, and mental health among others.