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Dealing With That Obnoxious and Difficult Family Member Around the Holidays

Updated on October 21, 2017

Every Family Has One

We’re quickly approaching the holiday season and with it comes much joy, festivities, food and family. Lots and lots of family and for the most part, it’s pleasant to be around family members that maybe you haven’t seen in a while. It can be a nice reunion of sorts or it can be a nightmare with certain people of the family that consistently ruin it for the rest of us.

It’s a given that there’s usually one side of the family that’s labeled the difficult or obnoxious side. But out of the good or bad side, there’s usually that one person that seems to rub everyone the wrong way and metaphorically speaking, defecate on the “Happy” part of “Happy Holidays”.

Some Insight First

First, a little background on this person, before I delve into how they quickly become the Grinch. They’re usually a moocher and will typically bring nothing more than their appetite and bad habits with them. They typically have little ambition in the job category leading to a strong tendency to complain about their crappy job at the mall. That’s also their excuse as to why they don’t bring any gifts to the parties. They’ll go on about how they really wanted to get you a present but money is tight and they’re working 80 hour work weeks. Of course they neglect to inform you about the other side of the weak excuse. This part is comprised of how they still live with their parents, (which everyone already knows) are responsible for maybe their cell phone bill and a car payment (if that) as their only financial obligations. They also spend the majority of their money on weed and video games, plus ridiculous hipster outfits. Finally, they are sloppy drunks who always go past the line of appropriateness. They essentially drink like they are at a college party and start pressuring everyone to do shots, including your 90 year old Grandpa Herb, who just wants some damn peace and quiet.

Why the annual raucous?

This person may be a simpleton of sorts, but they’re usually cognizant enough to know that the bulk of the family finds them irritating and off putting. So, why do they continue to repeat the same acts of debauchery and foolhardiness every year?

For starters, they crave attention since their life is so empty with nothing truly fulfilling them and giving them purpose. Often times, they are the youngest member, so they also try to play the “I’m still a bratty child and you have to deal with me to make me feel better” card. Well guess what ya little jerk, no we don’t! I’ll get into how to deal with this mooching snot later.

Aside from attention, they just never learned how to enjoy group company at any party or celebration without treating it like the summer on the Jersey Shore. They lack the understanding of what it means to drink socially instead drinking as if the answer to life is at the bottom of the cup.

Lastly, these ”Megs“ of the family (Family Guy reference, everyone hates meg) usually believe that the rest of the family is the problem. They feel a sense of entitlement in so far as the family judges them harshly and expects too much out of them. Sure, I guess that’s true if you call holding a full time job for more than a month, supporting yourself at 25 and not being as a drunk as a fraternity brother at a New Year’s Ever party, high expectations.

How to handle the insufferable

In the 5 stages of grief, one must ultimately come to acceptance. While this is not grieving, it’s a situation that we all would like to deny first but eventually have to accept. Once we come to terms with the obnoxious family member sticking around for the holidays, it’s only natural that we cope with it. So what are some ways that we can do this?

This can go multiple ways but the most appealing response sits some where between drinking until one becomes numb and totally ignoring the person. There’s nothing wrong with having a couple of drinks to make this pest some what palatable, after all, it is the holiday season. But that might end up putting you in a rough position if you have a proclivity to drink too much when stressed. Furthermore, you may either suffer some not so enjoyable effects from too much of the sauce and/or end up causing a scene with the family member.

So maybe you ignore them. While this may be effective in the short term, this mutant was gifted with the power of persistence. But not the persistence one requires in order to achieve goals and fulfillment in life. It’s the type of attention grabbing persistence designed to break through a person’s “trying to ignore you” barrier they put up in order to avoid contact.

What’s the solution? The trick is to give them the attention they so desperately crave, but not too much where it totally disrupts your time. The minimum amount of attention will provide this fool with the sufficient amount of satisfaction to move on to the next victim. A few caveats though, don’t feed them too many drinks, that’ll just enhance their loser powers. Also, while it’s understandable you’ll probably have to fake enjoying their conversation and company, don’t be too obvious or they’ll catch on.

Look at me sitting here (okay, watch my writing imply so, I know you’re not looking at me…..I mean, I hope not) giving you all of these instructions on how to handle this pesky family member. It’s like they’re Gremlins with all of these instructions.

Well, I’ve grown tired of talking to you about Meg so good luck and remember, when all else fails chew your toe nails….even Meg will run away from that.

Till next ride



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