July 21, 2019 | 92° F

Tips for avoiding awkward holiday conversations


What’s that smell? Is it chestnuts roasting over an open fire? Or was it just you feeling the heat from your family last holiday season because you didn't know how to avoid those painfully awkward conversations that come up at holiday parties? This holiday season is an opportunity for you to get a break from school, relax on the holidays, and if you play your cards right, even avoid being ridiculed and awkwardly confronted at family parties. These are some tips to make this tantalizing dream a reality for you.

1. Do not “Feel the Bern” during dinner

Although it is easy to fall down the slippery slope of your outrageously opinionated relatives' political debates, it is always a bad idea. Yes, college has most likely given you a revelation in your political opinions and brought in a new wave of thinking for you, but speaking about how Donald Trump is what this country needs or that you’re “Feeling the Bern” will serve as a catalyst to allow your aunts and uncles to lay the political smackdown on you.

2. An Apple product a day keeps the old folks away

Nobody likes to talk about things they’re not well-versed in, especially with someone younger than them. If you keep your eyes on the screen or the topic of conversation on the new apps you use to communicate with young people, they will pleasantly flee from the table for the evening.

3. Tinder doesn’t display last names for a reason

That reason being, your random hookups do not need to be associated with your family in any way, shape or form. Relatives have a tendency to be judgmental in the realm of dating, so avoid bringing up your 100-plus matches on Tinder and the fact that "Netflix and Chill" was the last date you went on, or else you’re basically handing the family ammunition to demolish your dating standards.

4. Only talk about the right interviews

Trying to figure out what greek organization's parties are more your style can be a fun and memorable experience for some. But grandpa probably won’t approve of you shotgunning beers at 4 a.m. on Friday nights to win the acceptance of a fellow classmate. Tell your family about the internships you applied and interviewed for, not the fraternity you’re pledging for.

5. Come down with the flu

Simple and probably the most realistic of my suggestions, act like you’re coming down with something. Hearing about how your cousins are excelling in their new venture of sports, your uncle just getting a promotion and defending yourself for being a lazy, opinionated college student can all be avoided by acting like you’re sick. Take frequent trips the bathroom, act fatigued with the sniffles and take a nap between dinner and dessert, and the family will steer clear of you. As much as your family would love to talk to you, no one wants to get sick.

Nick Demarest

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