Summer is coming, god bless, but for a lot of us it means there’s a family event coming up. Any time a young person has to spend time with extended family, it’s slightly anxiety provoking because all of your older relatives want to know about you and your cousins’ lives. They’re all trying to get the 411 on the youth. Here are 5 tips to help you survive it.
1. Always carry around a near-empty wine glass
This provides a way for you to politely excuse yourself from a conversation. Now, this doesn’t mean that you actually have to go refill -- in fact, you definitely shouldn’t refill your glass every time you do this. I’m not condoning getting wasted at the family party...but I’m not condemning it either. This happens to work best with an alcoholic beverage, but it will work with non-alcoholic ones as well. No underage drinking! Getting wasted at the extended family cook-out is never a good idea because sometimes it ends up with you getting way too real with people you don't know all that well, which leads to my next tip.
2. Stay positive at the party!
When they ask you how school or work is, just say it’s great. There’s no reason to tell your middle-aged cousin who you haven’t seen in five years how real the sophomore slump is or how much you hate your boss. They don't care, they just asked how you're doing as a common courtesy. The negative info always gets passed around a party like a baby. If you don't want to give them something to talk about -- other than how great you look -- don't say anything negative. You can complain about the real details of your life to your favorite family member later, but honestly just tell your other family members that everything is wonderful.
3. No politics
It’s just not a good idea and we all know it because you’re going to have to sit there and smile like everyone’s favorite VP, Joe Biden, while also telling your family members that they’re just plain wrong. Everyone has a slightly racist, slightly misogynistic uncle and as much as you and your favorite cousin would like to educate him, he’s set in his ways. He probably doesn’t vote anyway, so what’s the point? You likely have more than one family member that only watches Fox News. It’s no use arguing with them because they sincerely have no idea that a lot of the information they’re getting is wrong. When they start to talk about how great Donald Trump is and how Bernie is a communist, don’t even excuse yourself from the conversation, just walk away!
4. Try to be a social butterfly
If you bounce around and try to talk to everyone, no one can trap you into a conversation. You know how at a wedding, the bride is never stuck in a conversation because she has to make the rounds? Be like that. This way, your aunt won't be able to tie you down long enough to tell you how great her daughter is compared to you. You won’t have to sit there and pretend you don’t know how much of a mess her daughter if you excuse yourself (to refill!) and start talking to someone else.
5. Always be “focusing on school”