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Sex + Relationships

5 Tips on Surviving Your Partner’s Family This Holiday Season

Taking a step back in time, you would see that my record with boyfriends’ parents is squeaky clean. Their mothers wanted me to marry their sons. The fathers would laugh at my jokes while eating the dessert I brought. I genuinely loved them all…until they came along. I was crazy about the guy, just not a big fan of his fam. After surviving a few holidays with them, I can tell you it’s no easy job…but I am here to help! Here are 5 tips on how to survive your lovely significant other’s not-so-lovely family.

Take a Step Away

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If Grandma Gertrude has an attitude about the school you attend, excuse yourself when appropriate. The bathroom can be a sanctuary when need be. An even better idea is offering to walk the dogs. You will appear like a helpful person while taking the time you need to cool down. It’s a win-win! Bonus: If your partner comes along, you get to have some alone time away from the chaos.

Be the Bigger Person 

Do as the age-old saying goes, “Kill them with kindness”. When Aunt Gina is trying to stir the pot of gossip, respond with kindness instead of matching her rudeness. Don’t give her any reaction that would let off the fact that you are angry or annoyed. People who are trying to stir up trouble are always looking for a reaction! Changing the topic is a graceful option. Try to resist saying that vicious clapback you just thought of. Instead, share it with a trusted friend who you can vent to later on.

Act Confident 

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One of the biggest problems I had was feeling inferior to my partner’s family. I felt that they acted snobbishly toward me. If I could tell my past self one thing, it would be to stand your ground. Don’t let them try and run circles around you trying to prove that you aren’t smart, aren’t funny, aren’t whatever they want you to be. You are amazing and you don’t need to prove it to them. You don’t need to please them. If you are confident in your own abilities and life, it will shine through and make them stumble before they try and attack you with mean words meant to break you down.

Communicate With Your Partner 

I’m not saying that you should immediately vent to your partner that their family sucks and you don’t want to be around them. Opening up a dialogue where you can share things that make you uncomfortable or upset will help you cope. Approach every thought with the “I feel..” opener instead of accusatory language. It may be tricky to try and navigate this conversation, it is their family after all, but being honest with your partner is important. If you are in this relationship for the long haul, you will need to work through issues like this.

Say Goodbye

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If their mom is in the kitchen saying you are cheating on them, their uncle is in the living room spouting racist opinions, and their cousins are mocking your every move and outfit, leave. If it is seriously affecting you and your mental health, one holiday is not worth it. Claim you have food poisoning if you want an excuse. Say goodbye and don’t make up an excuse if you don’t want. You don’t owe them anything.

Coming from a girl who has been through it, these tips will seriously save you this holiday season. Now head to the dinner tables with confidence. Here’s to hoping that their mom will finally stop being a b****!

Abby is a junior at Drexel University, majoring in Communications and minoring in Writing. When she's not writing, you can probably find her working out, trying a new beauty product, or stopping to pet a dog.
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