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How to Deal with Nosy Relatives at the Holiday Table

How to deal with nosy relatives and other family dilemmas at the holiday dinner table with tips from Social Q's author Philip GalanesWe’ve all been there: right in the hot seat at the holiday dinner table, as everyone from granny to auntie grills us on our love life, finances, and child-rearing capabilities. Here’s how to take a deep breath and get through it, from Social Q’s: How to Survive the Quirks, Quandaries, and Quagmires of Today by Philip Galanes.

So when are you two getting married?
Or how about this one: Still no job?
Or my favorite: Will we be hearing the pitter-patter of tiny feet anytime soon?

Unlike hit-and-run holiday encounters with our friends and colleagues, holiday dinners with the extended family provide a special challenge: How to answer our relatives’ incredibly personal questions about things that are NONE of their *^&%$# business! Well, just as the best military strategists have a number of battle plans at the ready, so, too, will we require a number of tactics for fending off our nearest and dearest during the holidays.

VIDEO: Philip Galanes discusses how to deal with your relatives during the holidays

Deflection is always good. “Still single?” your aunt Ruthie may ask, with an attenuated frown and accompanying head tilt. To which you’ll simply reply, “Is that a push-up bra you’re wearing?” Just change the subject. Works every time!

Provocation works too. “So, when are you going to make me an uncle?” your mother’s brother Saul may ask. “Speaking of kids,” you’ll say, “isn’t your daughter getting out of prison any day now?” He’ll be so annoyed that he’ll forget his question about your procreation!

And remember, our relatives just want us happy—in most cases anyway. So the truth is also an option: “You know, for the time being, I like my life just the way it is.”

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