Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Dealing With Family Events and Personal Examples

Many of us dread family events. With the holidays around the corner, I’m sure many people are wondering how to deal with family in order to minimalize conflict. I have a large family on both of my parents’ sides. Needless to say, sometimes I find myself dealing with awkward comments or rude looks. If you incorporate darker, more mysterious or flamboyant look into your wardrobe like I do, you know exactly what I’m talking about. I’d like to offer you internet people some helpful tips if you happen to find yourself in troublesome situations at family reunions, holidays, etc.
Here are some questions:
1.       How do I avoid conflict altogether?
2.       How do I react to rude or awkward comments?
3.       What do you do with unfamiliar family members?
I love this photo!

1.       Well, when I see family, I try to tone down my look a little. I don’t throw my style out the window when a family event is around the corner, but I also don’t dress like I’m going to a concert or festival. So basically, I keep my platform boots IN the closet, and I don’t wear my make-up as dark so as to not scare the kiddies. For example, my young cousin asked me a while back, “Are you a vampire?” I think I said something along the lines of “maybe” or “I wish.” Keeping your most wicked clothing items in the closet is probably the best idea to stay somewhat inconspicuous. That and I don’t really want to give people the opportunity to touch my clothing like I’m a petting zoo. This year I wore a simple Peter Murphy shirt and a long black skirt with a purple stripy cardigan. No rudeness from it, only an “I’ll pretend like I know who Peter Murphy is!” and a thumbs up.

2.       Hm…Dealing with negativity all depends on the person. An older adult with whom you are really comfortable probably won’t insult you. If they do, give them a sly smile and say something witty but respectful sounding. If a younger cousin is rude, you can be a little spicier, but not too mean. Especially with the cheeky observation comments like “You’re wearing black today!” you can afford to be a bit snarky. I once had my uncle yelling, “You’re a Goth!” multiple times around the house (He was very happy about it, by the way). It was a bit awkward, but I shrugged it off. I should’ve said at least something, but I wasn’t brazen enough at the time. In dealing with more serious assumption comments, take a more firm but non aggressive tone. Ignorance can be solved through education.

3.       I have many unfamiliar family members on my father’s side. He has cousins through marriage from my grandmother’s huge immediate family (16 kids), so I only barely know a few of them. I went to that family reunion, and it went well for the most part. I of course got one or two critical looks, and one older man even approached me a little too comfortably to pick a piece of lint off my shoulder. If you get a glare from people you don’t know too well, just smile. Don’t give that person the evil eye, because that just causes problems. If the person is glaring at you from afar, it’s easier just to ignore.  Be as cordial as possible, but don’t let them run you over.

I hope these little tips were insightful, and I hope everyone reading this enjoyed hearing about some of my personal experiences.  If you have any comments about funny incidents with family, I’d love to read. 

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