Attending a Family Reunion: 4 Ways to Get Out of Awkward Situations
Dreading awkward situations at your family reunion? Read on for ways to navigate the waters like a pro.
It’s family reunion season once again. Whether you’re having it online or IRL, there’s a huge possibility that things will get tense. In case you haven’t mastered dodging the usual “Uy, tumaba ka!” comment from a distant aunt, here’s a useful guide to getting out of awkward encounters.
Bring Your A-Game
You may be spending time with family — people who have known you since you were walking around in diapers — but you still do need to look your best. If you can’t find the motivation to do this, do it for yourself. Think of it as presenting your best self to people who love you but also expect quite a lot from you.
Looking your best and being at your best behavior could help ward off unwanted comments. Seeing you all dressed up may influence them to think of it as a more formal family gathering, and in turn, behave in a more “proper” manner.
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Be the Light
You can’t expect people to be all sunshine and butterflies around you if you act like a massive black hole sucking the joy out of everybody. If you’re always the , perhaps it’s also worth looking at your attitude and outward disposition. If you start acting defensively the moment you arrive at your family reunion, people are going to sense it. (Maritesses can sense fear. Charot.) Instead, try taking the Joker’s advice: Smile, it confuses people.
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Own You So-Called Flaws
Strangers bash even seemingly perfect people online all the time. Being flawed is not the problem and being called out for it is also irrelevant. What’s important — and what affects your wellbeing — is how you react to it. Chances are you already know what kind of negative comments could come your way. Perhaps you gained a little bit of weight (who hasn’t!). Maybe you’ve been job-hopping and haven’t quite found what you’re looking for (that’s okay, too!). Knowing your worth is all that matters.
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When All Else Fails, Feed Them
One of the golden rules of life is “never bite the hand that feeds you.” Literally. If you want to get on everyone’s good side without really trying too hard, bring them food. Good food. If you’re Filipino and your family is very Filipino, this is a no-brainer. Avoid bringing food that some of your relatives may see as strange, like vegan paella or no-meat lechon. Stick to the familiar favorites to keep them in their comfort zones so you can sit pretty in yours. It is the same thing with dinner table topics, by the way.
You don’t have to be at the mercy of tactless relatives at your family reunion. Having fun is completely up to you. A simple adjustment in attitude and perspective (and realizing that they usually do mean well) can make all the difference.