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Dealing with Embarrassing Relatives


We can choose our friends but we sadly, we can’t choose our relatives. If you think you have been bestowed embarrassing aunts and uncles, then here are some suggestions on how to deal with them:

Accept your relatives for who they are. Everyone has some weird habits and unusual quirks, even you! The first step is to acknowledge their individuality, and accept and love them for what makes them unique. Tolerance and understanding make great relationships.

Identify the cause of embarrassment. If the problem is simple and can be solved, then by all means be volunteer to do something about. Just be careful that you don’t hurt your relative’s feelings. Be subtle if you will. For example, if it’s a a hygiene issue, perhaps you can gift him or her a body and bath set. If it’s a fashion issue, you can ask them to go with you on a shopping spree so you can offer your advice.

Some problems may be caused by underlying problems such as alcoholism, or substance abuse. Ask help from other family members, as it will take all your cooperation to help this relative. If you decide to confront the person, try not to turn them into the defensive. Sit down and persuade the person to seek help. Make sure that he or she knows that you are there to help and not to criticize, and that you are doing it out of love.

However, be prepared that these people might not want your help. But at least, you can say that you tried. If they believe that they are not doing anything bad even if you’ve already pointed it out, then they have made their choice and you can do nothing about it except accept it or distance yourself if you simply cannot tolerate their behavior. This is much better than starting a third world war that could have been avoided in the first place.


Categories: Family


One Response to “Dealing with Embarrassing Relatives”

  • debbi says:

    Funny but so true! My late cousin was married to a guy who was nice and normal but his immediate family consisted of redneck weirdos. During a barbecue, one brother yelled out to another brother, “Yo, Bubba, git me some them there salmonella candles!” My cousin and I gently told him that he probably wanted citronella candles, to no avail. The guy did not know the difference.

    All these years later and I’m still chuckling at the incident. I guess embarrassing relatives can be good fodder for comedy!

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