Awkward family members

…and how to deal with them.

Allyson Smoczynski and Ava Klein

The awkward uncle

“I haven’t seen you in ages, how are you?”

“I’m good, going to high school, working hard.”




“Okay, uh, bye”

There’s nothing like running into the awkward uncle. With long, silent pauses and very bad small talk, he’s not fun. How many times can you discuss your classes? With only four claustrophobia-inducing rooms for mingling, it’s impossible to escape him. However, with a holiday party the size of a wedding, all you have to do is hide behind the potted Christmas plants.

Crazy cousins 

*Running around the couches*


“STOP! We’re trying to watch a movie”


“I give up.”

You can NEVER escape the crazy cousins. The younger ones are running around in circles , flossing to random rap songs with no intent of stopping, and throwing toys at anyone who passes by.

OR “Hey Brad how are you? How’s college?”

“Good, thanks.”

*Brad goes up to his room and goes to sleep*

At the other end of the spectrum, older cousins are the ones who care less about how you’re doing than about sleeping until noon. The only thing that may help is to spend time doing something else. Maybe hide in the bathroom with some Christmas cookies. The harder it is to find you, the more probable it is the younger cousins will give up on their manhunt.

The attention hog 

“Hey! Look! I can jump off the trampoline into a bush!”

“That’s not safe.”

*Does it anyway*

This show-off is in every single family; it’s normally a young child. This person will tell everyone about a dumb achievement like wrapping someone in toilet paper or how they threw a baseball at a wall. He will tell you all about his pointless adventures while you’re trying to eat a sandwich and listen to your relatives complain about taxes. The best thing to do is to just be nice and speak to him positively and encouragingly, but also try to warn them when their ideas involve a little bit of danger.

The opinionated family member- 

“Why are you wearing that? You look like Dwight from “The Office.”

 “Um, thanks?”

“Seriously, that color is so ugly. Blue is prettier. Now let’s get back to the recent election.”

This family member is especially outspoken and never misses a chance to put in her opinion – especially on the subjects of politics or the way you look. Try to steer the topic to something that is more neutral, like weather patterns. Putting yourself in a situation where anyone may offer an opinion is extremely dangerous; you’re asking for criticism.

The number one

“I’ve started doing more community work recently for my service hours.”

“When are your hours due?”

“In nine months.”

“Well, I flew to Africa recently to take care of the children.”

“For service hours?”

“No – I just felt like helping.”

The number one is someone who, no matter what you do, will always be better than you. To avoid her bragging about being friends with the pope, don’t bring up your success. If she has nothing to compete with, she will be clueless at what to say.