Are you looking forward to spending time with your family? Most people believe their family is dysfunctional. So, if you feel this way, you’re not alone.

Instead of dreading time with family, shift your perspective. If everyone was the same, how boring the world would be. Instead of seeing your family in a negative dysfunctional mindset, reframe your thought to see the “fun” in dysfunction.

Stop feeling bullied by your aunt’s 20 questions and turn the conversation around. Most people like to hear themselves talk. Start asking your aunt about her life – her favorite vacation, which restaurants she enjoys, what life was like when she was your age.

As you learn more about your aunt, you may find at least one thing you like about her. You may be surprised that you’re actually building a relationship with her. A different relationship from the past. A more tolerable relationship.

But then again, she may fall into that category where the more she talks, the more you realize you don’t like her. And that’s okay. You only see her a few times a year.

If she’s in this category, continue listening. Reflect on how your life compares to her. This exercise will shed some light on why you are very different from your aunt.

At a last resort, here are some fun things you can do to make spending time with a dysfunctional family tolerable … and no one needs to know what you are thinking.

1- Make a mental list of things you can laugh about with your close friend.

2- Pretend your family will be in a movie and decide which actor/actress will play each role.

3- Change your shirt or an accessory every hour. See if anyone notices. If nothing else, it’ll give you time to escape.

4- Decide which dog breed each family member would be if you were all dogs.

5- Pick a song to define each family member’s life.

While you want to be engaged during family time, sometimes it may be better to preoccupy your mind with fun things. By finding “fun” in dysfunctional, you’ll be more successful surviving time with your dysfunctional family.

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Niv PersaudNiv 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 financial advisor. 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’.”