December 13, 2017

Your guide to answering awkward questions from relatives on Thanksgiving

Caroline Harding ’20, Business and Marketing Manager

Tired of facing awkward questions from your relatives each year? Look no further for your answers!

 

One of the many Thanksgiving traditions that is always a struggle is how to navigate those awkward and uncomfortable questions relatives ask you. Here is an extensive guide on how to navigate these tricky situations:

“Do you go out a lot? How’s the social scene?”

This is a tough question because you don’t want to seem like you live in your room watching Netflix, but wild partier isn’t the image you are going for either. The best way to avoid relatives thinking you are an extreme introvert or extravert is to answer with something like, “I have a solid group of friends that I hang out with.” Stuff your face with pie before you get a follow up.

 

“Are you dating anyone? Why not?”

There are two answers to this question. If you are single, go with “no”. The “Why not?” follow-up, which is absurdly insulting, but I would not put it past Aunt Karen to ask, is a beast of a question. Stay along the lines of “don’t have time,” “not looking for anyone,” or something casual like that. If you are dating, answer honestly, but be prepared to be bombarded with questions about your significant other, and the word will definitely be spread throughout the table in a matter of seconds because if you tell Aunt Karen, you are telling the entire family.

 

*You check your phone* “Who are you texting? Kids these days sure have a technology addiction huh!”

Ok, Uncle Richard, you are on your phone just as much as I am, first of all. Second of all, you don’t know any of my friends so me telling you is just a waste of both of our time. Put your phone away and plaster on that fake smile, and try to throw in a laugh if you have any energy left.

 

“How are your grades?”

First of all, Uncle Keith, you need to chill. But because grades are relative, you can easily manipulate the question so that the conversation does not continue past this point. “They’re under control” or “Pretty good” are both solid answers.

 

“What are you learning in school?”

Thanksgiving provides four days of blissfully not thinking about school, and Aunt Jane, you are ruining them. For this one, pick the most mind-numbing topic you can think of and pray you will not get a follow up question, but if you do, just throw in a short and sweet one word answer.

 

“Where are you applying to college? Do you think you’ll get in?”

For anyone other than seniors, you can avoid this one with a slick “I’m not sure yet” and dive into the turkey. For seniors, your nosy family probably already knows where you applied. “Do you think you’ll get in” is really tough, but stick to an “I hope so” and plaster a smile on your face no matter how done you actually are.

 

“Are you sure you want more mashed potatoes?”

This twisted question, implying you’ve eaten too much or you are slightly larger than last Thanksgiving, is a slap in the face insult, and the only way to conquer it is to smile back at your relative and say, “it is my favorite food.” Eat those mashed potatoes. No shame.

 

“Do you mind watching the kids for a little bit?”

YES. YES YES YES YES YES, I MIND. Uncle Keith, I am here celebrating Thanksgiving too, I’m not here to babysit your kids so that you can have a good time. This question can be avoided by, “I actually told [insert relative here] that I would help them in the kitchen, sorry!”

 

“I have had enough of [insert relative here], s/he is being such a pain, don’t you agree?”

Honestly, Aunt Susan, you are being more of a pain than she is, but whatever you say! For this one, avoid disagreeing but definitely do not agree and fuel the fire. A simple shrug, an uninterested “I don’t know”, or just pretending you didn’t hear the question will be your best bet.

 

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