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Touchy Topics Not to Talk About at Family Gatherings

Updated on November 21, 2018
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Margaret Minnicks has been an online writer for many years. She writes articles that are interesting to her readers.

It is good for families to get together at special times of the year to see one another and to celebrate the occasion. It is customary for families to be in one central location on birthdays, anniversaries, weddings, and funerals. When large groups of relatives get together, some of them have a tendency to say things that are not pleasing to others.

Some members of the family look forward to getting together while others dread those occasions because of touchy subjects that someone is bound to bring up.

Relationship experts and even people with common sense are in agreement that people should be mindful of what they say. Touchy subjects should be avoided at all cost.

Religion and Politics

Two major touchy subjects should not be on the table during family gatherings.

  1. Religion
  2. Politics

There is a family of four brothers who are members of the clergy in different denominations. Their parents told them that they love all of them, but they did not want any debates around the table about which denomination is better.

Politics is another touchy subject that should be avoided. Nothing political can be settled during family gatherings. If Congress and government officials can't agree on political issues, don't think your family is going to come to an agreement in a few hours together.

Call a moratorium on talking about religion and politics during time together with your family.

Other Touchy Subjects

While religion and politics are public issues not to talk about, there are some personal topics that are touchy and could be very offensive to those who are there to celebrate and enjoy themselves.

People are advised not to bring up touchy personal topics. If they do, others are cautioned not to engage in the conversations.

While all of the following topics should be off limit, they are not listed in any particular order of importance but all of them are important.

1. WEIGHT. At family gatherings, there is no need to comment on someone's weight while they are piling their plate with food. The person might already be sensitive about his or her weight. Besides, it could be a medical problem for the person to be overweight.

This could be for all people whether they are overweight or underweight. No one wants to be body shamed at any time especially in a group.

2. MARITAL STATUS. Some people are often questioned about their marital status. They might remain single by choice. Don't bring up someone's recent divorce. The person is already feeling bad enough about the breakup without someone adding to the sensitive situation.

3. STARTING A FAMILY. Don't ask married couples why they don't have children. They might not want children, or there could be a fertility problem. There is no need to bring up that touchy subject.

4. INCOME. It is insensitive to compare salaries, but some family members do just that. The subject is usually brought up by a person who is making a decent salary. He does so to make himself seem important while putting down others who might not make as much.

5. SEX LIFE. A person's sex life is private whether he or she is single or married. The topic is a touchy one and does not belong at a family gathering. It is an embarrassing subject to be discussed around older relatives that include parents and grandparents. Young people don't need to learn about the birds and bees at a family function.

6. PRICE OF SOMEONE'S BELONGINGS. Some people have a bad habit of asking people how much they paid for their clothes, jewelry, and other belongings. Comparing the price of someone's personal property should never be done.

7. CREDIT SCORES. This actually happened at a family gathering. A real estate agent used her authority to check credit scores. Using her laptop, she began comparing credit scores of other members of the family. It was a very insensitive and embarrassing act that should not have been done in a public setting. Even those with high credit scores were appalled.

8. MEDICAL CONDITIONS. Some people love talking about their medical conditions even at the dinner table. They give detailed reports about their recent doctor's visit. They bring others into the conversation by asking what medications they are on. Some of the people they ask are not even on any medicines.

9. OFFENSIVE JOKES. Some members of the family love to tell stories about their upbringing. They embellish the tales and make others the butt of offensive jokes. That should not be.

Missing Family Members

If you have noticed that certain relatives have stopped showing up at family gatherings, it might be because of the sensitive subjects that are discussed. The food might be good, but it does not compensate for being harassed and embarrassed.

Gatherings should strengthen relationships within families instead of causing distress. The Bible says to encourage others instead of discrediting them. According to Hebrews 10:25, "Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another."

How are your family gatherings?

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