OPINION: Dealing with prying family members

Every year around the holidays, students finish their semesters and finally get the opportunity to go home and relax with close family and friends. Oftentimes, this is ruined by prying family members who want to know way too much about our personal matters. 


Obviously, we love our family no matter what, but sometimes they should be seen and not heard. It’s a struggle we all understand here at The Alestle, and I’ve come up with some solutions to help pull students out of those uncomfortable conversations. 


The most respectful thing a student can do is to just be polite and friendly. When asked these uncomfortable questions, sometimes it’s better to just suck it up and give them the most acceptable answer. While every second of it hurts, it’s the best way to maintain a good relationship with distant family. 


The most obvious and easiest solution is to just ignore and avoid. This is a strategy many use without even realizing it. It comes in many forms like staying in ones room until Christmas dinner is ready, or keeping newly gifted air pods in all day. 


This one is effective because your relatives may not care enough to come find you or get your attention. They may seem like they really want to know who you’ve hooked up with this semester, but they’re really just trying to make small talk. 


Avoiding conversation is always reliable, but it will unfortunately never fix the problem at its core. For students who want to eliminate these uncomfortable situations once and for all, there are harsher measures to take.


When a disrespectful aunt is prying too much into and criticizing future plans, remember that a conversation can always be ended by turning the question around on her. Ask her why she hasn’t done anything with her life besides joining a pyramid scheme. Turning the situation around on relatives is a longer lasting solution that will throw them off.


To many, this feels like the most empowering option. Finally! You can get revenge on those monsters who wouldn’t stop asking if you had a little girlfriend when you were in first grade. However, there is one final option that is better in the long run. 


While one may be blinded with rage, embarrassment and shock when their family asks these personal questions, It’s important to acknowledge they didn’t grow up in the same time as today’s students. They might not understand why what they are asking is so bad, or maybe this is just their way of getting closer.


It’s always helpful to open up a dialogue. Explain why these questions cause discomfort and why they may even be problematic in today’s society. Students going home this month should try and help relatives understand their feelings, and then relate to them with something less personal, like football or movies. 


Sometimes, all that can be done is to just try and educate them, move on and wait until next year when it needs to be done all over again.

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