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You’re home for the holidays. You’re ready for a break, and you want to just enjoy the company of your friends and family. Everything is almost set. You’ve got a beer, you’re kicking back, and you can feel everything settling down.

Then they arrive. That uncle, aunt, grandparent, or family friend. That one you can’t stand to be in the room with. Whether it’s the differing views of politics, or religion, or just life in general. We all have those relatives, and I’m sure someone comes to mind even as you’re reading this.

All of a sudden that relaxing feeling gets up and flees. It’s replaced by a sense of anxiety, and sometimes resentment. Trust me, we’ve all been there, so you’re not alone.

Now that we’ve set up the stage, let me drop some truth: Your attitude about this relative is going to bleed over into your own enjoyment like a poison. But worse than that? It’s going to poison the feeling around everyone else.

It’s going to be in your best interest to find a way to get along. Not just for yourself, but for the people around you that you do care about. So how are you going to go about that?

You’re going to find a common interest. You’re going to ask about them, what the year has been like for them. Ask about their work or any interesting hobbies they might have. This takes some grit—sometimes listening to them go through this is enough to make you want to scream. But you’re going to get through it.

Keep delving until you find something you can relate to. It seems like work at first, but this is a skill that will serve you well. Don’t give up easily. New movies, music, sports, hobbies, anything. And if you’ve seriously tried, and I mean actually given it a real go, and it’s not working? Fake it. Not for yourself, cause you’re pretty much screwed right now, but for everyone else.


Giving some common ground is the first step to companionship. Even if you’re not looking to be buddies, having something that you both share an interest in will make these holiday visits so much easier to handle.

Now that you’ve been able to create some sort of companionship with “them‘ you should be able to get back to your Holiday with renewed enthusiasm. So kick your feet back up, and enjoy yourself.

Evan Buckley

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