Every family has a few annoying members who like to meddle in others' personal affairs. And they aren't even genuinely concerned about their relatives' well-being, they just like to meddle. Such family member can easily make a Christmas or Thanksgiving gathering a nightmare, so you need to know how to handle them. Here are some tips for dealing with meddling relatives.
Tip #1. Avoid talking too much about your business. Talking about your business in front of your nosy relatives is basically an invitation for them to start meddling. The less they know about your life, the better. If you have a big announcement to make, such as getting engaged or expecting a baby, don't do it in front of your extended family. Wait until you are surrounded by the people whose opinions really matter to you.
Tip #2. Remember that you don't have to say anything. If someone from your family comes up to you and starts asking awkward questions, just tell them you don't want to talk about it. After they hear this answer enough times, they will get tired. If you are not a straightforward person, you can answer vaguely without really giving an answer or use humor to deflect.
Tip #3. Tell your kids to keep their mouth shut. Sometimes meddling relatives start asking children questions about their life when they don't succeed in grilling their parents for information. Tell your kids not to answer questions about your life. If a relative approaches them and starts asking questions, they need to answer: “You have to ask my parents about that, sorry.”
Tip #4. Change the subject. If a family member tries to meddle in your business, try changing the subject or answering their question with one of your own. This will throw them off, and they will quickly forget why they approached you in the first place. You might think that this is too obvious. Well, it is, but it should be obvious. You're trying to prove a point here.
Tip #5. Make the conversation about them. People who like to meddle in other people's affairs don't like when someone meddles in theirs. Use their tactics against them and give them a taste of their own medicine. Ask a meddling relative something about his or her life. Flip every awkward question they ask you around on them.
The bottom line is, you should not be afraid to set boundaries. If you are determined to put your meddling family members into their place, you need to be assertive, set clear boundaries and maintain them.
- How to Deal With Annoying Relatives, How to Organize a Family Reunion, How to Handle Awkward Family Questions, How to Deal With Relatives Who Take Advantage of You