Home for the holidays: Survival skills for dealing with your family

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The holidays are a great break from school, and an awesome excuse to go home to spend time with family.

However, for some people, that blissful family times is eventually replaced with arguing and annoyance. Sometimes, it seems, absence really does make the heart grow fonder.

In light of that, we’ve put together this list of tips for surviving the holidays.

Put on your smile

No, seriously. If you have a relative that grates on your nerves every year, just keep smiling. Some people call it killing them with kindness, but know that your determined smile will be enough to irk an unpleasant relative without the messiness of verbal confrontation.

Not only that, smiling actually makes people feel happier, so you may find it’s not long until a genuine smile is spreading across your face.

Don’t engage

We all have that relative that asks about grades and significant others in veiled tones. These are the uncles you dread seeing, but they can be stopped.

When you are on the receiving end of a trap question, just smile and turn to someone else to change the conversation. Do not engage with these relatives. It’s not worth it.

Eat the fruitcake

For you, this may not actually be fruitcake. It could be some sort of vegetable casserole your mom spent hours making. She insists you like it, and you insist you don’t.

Sometimes, it’s better to just eat it and avoid the fight.

But don’t compromise yourself either

During the holidays we walk a fine line between avoiding conflict and becoming a doormat. It is so easy to revert to your child self and stammer through questions related to school or your part time job.

We would encourage you not to do that, at least not completely. While it is good to avoid fighting and go with the flow, sometimes you have to stand up for yourself.

Whether you’re facing your problem relative for the tenth time at dinner or a bossy older sibling gone too far, decide what your limit is and don’t let anyone overstep their bounds.

Ignore negativity

It’s an unfortunate truth that some people are bitter around the holidays. These are the relatives that don’t have an ounce of cheer and want to bring down the party.

The easiest way to avoid negativity during the holidays, is to avoid these people. You don’t have to be rude. You can just politely distance yourself from that person.

Get some rest and have fun

Finally, sleep off that big meal and have some fun. The holidays don’t have to feel like a chore. Every day of break, get up expecting to make your own holiday cheer.

Be prepared to force yourself into having a good time if circumstances are not ideal. Ignore those rude relatives and focus on the spirit of the season.

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