It's that time of year again – time for holiday gatherings with family and friends. And with these gatherings often come awkward questions from well-intentioned loved ones.
Some common awkward questions that may come up at family gatherings include:
"When are you going to get married/have kids/buy a house?"
"Why are you still single/dating someone we've never met?"
"Why did you change careers/move to a new city/get a haircut?"
"Are you still in school/unemployed/living at home?"
It's important to remember that these questions are often asked out of genuine curiosity and concern, and not to be judgmental or nosy. That being said, it can still be uncomfortable to answer them – especially if the answer is something you don't want to share or if the question feels too personal.
So, how can you handle these awkward questions gracefully? Here are a few tips:
Redirect the conversation. If you don't feel comfortable answering the question, try to steer the conversation in a different direction. You can say something like, "I'm not really sure about that, but have you heard about the new restaurant that just opened up downtown?"
Use humor to deflect. If you have a good sense of humor, you can try making a joke to lighten the mood. For example, if someone asks when you're going to have kids, you could say, "I'm still trying to figure out how to take care of the plants in my apartment. Kids might be a bit of a stretch for me right now."
Be honest, but brief. If you don't mind answering the question, you can give a brief and honest response. For example, if someone asks why you changed careers, you could say, "I realized that my old job wasn't fulfilling to me and I wanted to try something new. I'm really enjoying my new career and I'm excited to see where it takes me."
Set boundaries. If you don't want to answer a question, it's okay to say so. You can say something like, "I appreciate your concern, but I'd rather not discuss that right now. Can we talk about something else?"
Remember, it's your right to decide what you do and do not want to share with others. It's okay to set boundaries and to feel comfortable saying no to answering a question that makes you feel uncomfortable.
In the end, the most important thing is to have a good time with your loved ones and to focus on what truly matters during the holiday season – spending quality time together and celebrating the joy of the season.