Holiday Survival Guide: How To Respond To The Annoying Questions Relatives Always Ask

We’ve all been there. An uncle you haven’t seen in 10 years decides to make conversation by asking if you have a boyfriend. Your grandmother says you look too skinny and asks if you’re eating. Your super successful and wealthy cousin asks about your career when you know she’s heard it through the grapevine that you were just downsized. Family gatherings bring out all kinds of awkward questions which is why you should come prepared to answer them; sadly, you can’t just pop on a pair of headphones and tune them out while you enjoy your pie in piece. Find out how to respond to those basic but totally annoying questions, after the jump…

Q: What are you up to these days?

This may be the toughest question of them all simply because it is so open-ended. Decide how you’re going to respond before you get to Aunt Sue’s house for Christmas Eve dinner. “Nothing really” or “Same old, same old” will not suffice. Arrive with a game plan. There must be something you wouldn’t mind talking about. Did you buy a goldfish? Or perhaps you rewired a lamp all by yourself? Steer the conversation in the direction you want.

Q: How’s your job?

Unless you work for a porn website or have been unemployed since your college graduation, this is probably the safest topic up for discussion. Relatives who don’t work in the same field as you won’t understand what you do. Say your job is “going well” and that you’re “learning a lot,” then ask if they need a drink refill. If you and Uncle Joe both work in the health profession, well, then you might be stuck discussing that for a while. But maybe you can learn something from him?

Q: Are you seeing anyone?

Unless you want to be grilled about the boy you’re kind of, sort of, hooking up with, the answer is “no.” They’ll feel bad for you and leave this conversation topic faster than Michael Phelps can swim 25 meters.

Q: When are you getting engaged?

If you’ve been in a relationship for a while, this question is bound to come up. The pressure you put on your boyfriend is more than enough, so a simple “When the time is right” will do.

Q: You look great, have you lost weight?

Whether or not you’ve been working out, say, “Why, yes. I’m actually training for a marathon. Would you like to donate to the obese children’s treatment center I’m running for?” then keep the money for yourself. Fair’s fair.