Don’t dread ‘those’ Thanksgiving conversations

Morgan Dowler | Cartoonist

Why don’t you have a boyfriend/girlfriend? Did you buy those jeans with holes in them? How’s so-and-so? Are you getting married soon? Have you gotten a job yet?

It seems that during the holidays, family members think this is the only time to ask those personal questions about your life. Even though these questions imply a sense of disapproval or criticism, you don’t have to take it that way. Our families aren’t living our lives and hold a completely different perspective, so we shouldn’t be surprised when they jump to conclusions from the handful of Facebook posts they’ve seen. While most of us would probably like to just ignore these questions, we can’t be rude to grandma.

As college students, we don’t really see our family throughout the year outside of breaks, meaning there are probably going to be forced interactions and an overload of invasive questions thrown at you this holiday season. If you’re already getting sweaty palms thinking about these awkward conversations, don’t worry; you’re not alone.

Before you head to see family and friends, think about what they may ask and come up with how you might respond so that you aren’t caught off guard. We all have questions and topics we don’t want to talk about, but know that your family is just bringing certain things up because they want to know more about you and your life. They want to know as much about our lives as possible, and they mean well. Respond with the truth and maybe throw in a joke, and because you’ve already anticipated the question, you won’t be blindsided by a rude remark. You don’t have to elaborate on the truth, but just be honest, and if you don’t want to address something just say, “Hey, I’d really not like to talk about that today, but how is ___ going?”

When all else fails, turn the tables on them and change the subject to something you know they love talking about. Most of the time, people will go on and on about stuff they love. So, before the questions even start coming at you, you can fill the space with your own table topic questions.

The holidays can result in stressful times, and no matter how much you love your friends and family, they can still get on your nerves. Although your family members might hit a nerve by bringing up a sensitive topic, remember that they are trying to put in the effort to learn more about you. Be thankful this holiday season that you have those nosy people in your life because they care about you a lot. Take a deep breath before your holiday dinner and relax. You’ll make it to New Year’s soon enough.