Hey everyone, just like many of you out there, I have had to smile my way through a lot of family dinners during the holiday season. And when I say “smile” I mean trying to keep the peace during uncomfortable dinner conversations. For trying to get through dinner without getting so pissed you want to throw the turkey at (just fill in the blank), here are my 5 tips for just getting through it until it’s time to say, “Well goodnight!”
Tip#1: Turn on the television or watch a movie.
This way everyone will be so glued to the entertainment, they won’t feel like saying too much of anything. And please be sure to show something appropriate for the age groups at the table. The last thing you want is for a steamy sex scene to come up and then have another uncomfortable conversation during dinner.
Tip#2: Keep your mouth full!
If your mouth is always chewing, your relatives will be less likely to ask you about money, your career, your relationship, or your marriage. Believe me, there’s nothing more disgusting than seeing chewed, mangled food rolling around in someone’s mouth while talking. It’s a great way to deflect questions like, “So when are you and that boyfriend of yours (or girlfriend) finally going to tie the knot?”
Tip:3: Have a list of embarrassing questions of your own for ammunition.
Some people are good at answering a question with a question but believe me, it helps when your know-it-all sibling becomes a huge success and likes to rub your nose in it by making your lower-paying job sound like a fate worse than death.
Tip#4: Develop a sudden bad case of indigestion.
This can give you a great excuse to leave the table and the room in the middle of a heated conversation about religion, politics, or racism. The three most controversial topics that one can bring up anywhere. Let’s face it, we all have our thoughts and opinions about these things but nowadays the passion is through the roof and some things are better left unsaid.
And last but certainly not least…
Tip#5: Don’t volunteer any information about yourself that they don’t already know.
If there’s something new that happened in your life that you know they won’t like or understand, do not bring it up at the dinner table. Let everybody stay in the dark at least until you can tell them individually and in private. Do not talk about how you lost your job because that can be a real downer for people to hear when they just came over to celebrate a happy occasion. Not to mention that you don’t want your parents thinking to themselves, “Oh my god, he’s going to ask me for money.” This little attention grabber can turn a quiet dinner with the fam, to World War three in a matter of seconds. Especially if you have overly judgmental relatives.
Well, I hope these tips help you because the holiday dinners are meant to be something special. A time for being with family and catching up on what everyone is doing. I know that these tips might sound a little…silly, but in all seriousness, nobody’s family is perfect. And it’s always good to know how to handle intense conversations that always seem to come up during times such as these. I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving and remember…to smile.
Until next time…