It’s quickly approaching … the holidays. A time when family members visit – even the annoying ones. If you know annoying relatives will be visiting, then follow these 4 helpful tips to keep them at bay:
1- Challenge yourself to stay calm.
Don’t allow annoying relatives to ruin your holiday. Your adverse reaction may fuel their behavior so for a change don’t react – not even an eye roll. Remind yourself regularly that you control your reaction, not them. Every time you win your challenge reward yourself. For example, add a dollar to a jar every time you control your reaction. At the end of their visit, collect your winnings and splurge on Y-O-U!
2- Start a countdown.
If annoying relatives are visiting for a few hours or a few days, start a countdown for when they will leave. Look for an app on your smart phone or use a pad of paper. Of course, keep your countdown private – there’s no need to upset your spouse.
3- Change the conversation.
Sometimes annoying relatives voice their unwelcome opinions. Keep a list of topics to change the conversation. Use topics of conversation you would use at a business dinner party – avoid politics and religion, as well as any other emotionally charged topics your family may have (some families can’t even talk about football). Some ideas include:
How did you get into the line of business you are in?
If you could travel anywhere in the world where would you go?
What are your top 5 favorite movies?
The idea is to get your annoying relatives to talk about something other than your perceived shortcomings.
4 – Take a walk.
Sometimes just getting away from annoying relatives can do wonders — and what better way than to walk off those extra holiday calories. You can always say, “I’m starting my New Year’s resolution early.” Who can argue with that statement?
It can be challenging to keep annoying relatives at bay. It helps to have a friend to vent to if things become frustrating – but spare your spouse if these annoying relatives are from his/her side of the family. Remember your annoying relatives are visiting – it’s a temporary situation. Try to focus on the positive parts of the family gathering.
Do you have annoying relatives visiting this holiday season? Let us know if our tips work and if you have any other suggestions.
Niv Persaud, CFP®, CDFA™, CRPC®, is the Founder of Transition Planning & Guidance, LLC. Life is more than money. It’s about living the lifestyle you want and can afford. For that reason, Niv consults with clients on money, life and work. Her approach capitalizes on techniques she learned throughout her career, including as a management consultant, executive recruiter and as a financial adviser. Her clients tend to be going through a major life transition (new graduate, marriage, growing family, divorce, widow/er, empty nest, etc.). Her services include spending plan, financial plan, divorce financial review, life strategy and professional progression. Niv actively gives back to her community through her volunteer efforts. She believes in living life to the fullest by cherishing friendships, enjoying the beauty of nature and laughing often — even at herself. Her favorite quote is by Erma Bombeck, “When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left and could say ‘I used everything you gave me’.”