Hina’s Holiday Survival Guide

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The holidays bring people together, but sometimes there are people you don't necessarily want to see. To help us through those situations, Hina Khan shows us how to be nice to even the naughty people in our lives.

Hina's Holiday Survival Guide

The Ex

He or she may be your ex, but sharing kids or other family members and friends maybring you together during the holidays.

How to deal with them: always keep in mind the person or people that are bringing you together, so it serves as a reminder this is not all about you. If you're thinking about the kids or elderly parents, for example, you will go into the situation with a positive frame of mind.

The Mother-in-Law

Does it feel like your mother-in-law is always critical of your cooking and what you decide to serve at the holidays?

How to deal with them: Keep some distance, so she will be out of ear shot. Don't sit right beside her. In fact, put the kids beside her! If she wants to help you in the kitchen politely decline and tell her to relax in the living room. Also focus on the people that appreciate your efforts. Sometimes we give so much mental energy to the one negative person that we don't even think about all the positive people that have shown up for us.

Your Brother's Annoying Girlfriend

She's abrasive and a little rough around the edges (and you prefer his old girlfriend).

How to deal with them: Accept her because he does. Getting annoyed and irritated will only influence your evening and not change her behaviour. There is great power in accepting the person as they are, not even wishing it were different. You can also be grateful this is an encounter that doesn't happen too often.

The Drunk Uncle

As soon as he comes over he starts drinking... and gets sloppier until he passes out.

How to deal with them: Have a strategy with other family members, such as seating him beside someone that can help monitor him, refilling his water glass, making sure there is food in front of him, and not having the alcohol right in front of him. When the time comes, lead him to a bed or a comfy chair for a nap. Also, have a plan of how he will get home at the end of the night.

The Nosy Aunt

You see her once a year and she wants to know everything going on in your life.

How to deal with them: When she starts asking intrusive questions, be vague. Don't give her any details. The more you give, the more it will fuel her curiosity. Steer the conversation back to your aunt or invite someone else into the conversation.

The Know-it-All Cousin

The know it all cousin is always one-upping you in a conversation.

How to deal with them: Don't get sucked into a one-upping competition! Keep conversations short and have an exit strategy in mind (like checking in on the food, children or drunk uncle). Slso realize one-upping is a result of feeling terribly insecure.

The Drop-In Neighbour

Have a neighbour who always drops in when you're ready to sit down and eat?

How to deal with them: Circumvent the drop-in by actually giving him an invite, at a time after your meal. This way you've taken control of when he's coming, and it won't disrupt your family meal. Also keep in mind, he may be lonely during the holidays and want to feel part of something, which is why he always drops by when you are hosting a gathering.

Awkward Family Friend

This family friend you grew up with is socially awkward at any gatherings.

How to deal with them: For the socially awkward person, a social setting can be very intimidating. Do what you can to make them feel at ease. They may feel more comfortable in one-on-one conversation and shut down when there is a group. Don't take this personally, it may come across as awkward but it is most likely simply feeling uncomfortable. Don't pressure them to join in, they may be more at ease observing and listening. The key here is to have empathy and not force anything.

Hina Khan

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