December 6, 2021

How to Handle Uncomfortable Questions at Family Gatherings

By Six Degrees Society

Does gathering the family for the holiday season give you anxiety? Are you typically hit with some of the more uncomfortable questions like “when are you getting married?” or “Why aren’t you in a relationship” or “Is that a real job?”. Your inner critic might be going insane. 

Try these tried and trusted tips to make your holiday gatherings that much more enjoyable, for everyone and to cultivate deeper connections with those that you love. 

Turn The Questions on Them: 

When the questions feel like they are getting too hot to handle, this is a perfect time to turn the questions on them. Most individuals love talking about themselves so do just that and ensure that the conversation keeps flowing in their direction. 

Use Humor: 

If you’re comfortable with humor, you can deflect the answers with humor and infuse humor into your responses. “Oh grandma, if I knew when I was going to be married don’t you think I’d have the ring picked out by now?”. 

Or on your job “While it sometimes feels like I’m working at an unpaid internship, I love being able to be my own boss.” 

Be Candid: 

If you are uncomfortable talking about relationships, jobs, your life, pause the conversation and tell them just that. “While I appreciate you asking, I’m really looking forward to spending the holidays retreating from those conversations. I did, however, watch an amazing holiday movie that I think the whole family would enjoy.” 


Be in control of showing them the highlight reel of your life and beating them to the questions. That 10k run you ran this year? That incredible trip to Mexico? Make sure to showcase all of it and the questions they want to have answered will be forgotten. 

When all else fails, remember that your time with your family is temporary and to try and enjoy every second of it as best you can.

How do you handle uncomfortable questions at family gatherings? Let us know!

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