Family reunions are typically characterized by an atmosphere of love and respect for one another, although this may not be the case for everyone there. Every family is unique, and members of the same family often have very diverse relationships. It usually only takes one foolish word or action to ruin a get-together with the family completely. Nobody wants to be the person who messes up their healthy relationship with their family and becomes a part of the conflict that’s going on there. We have compiled a list of a few ways a family reunion can be ruined.
1. Engaging in a pointless argument
Arguments of any nature almost have very little meaning in and of themselves. People start to assert their opinions and self-assert themselves at the expense of others, and in the process, they forget the most important thing, which is the search for the truth. When members of the same family get together, it’s a good time to catch up on one other’s lives, talk about the future, and vent about any problems you have. Violent arguments and over-contentious topics have no place here.
Do not let yourself become obsessed with something that makes you unhappy, such as the opinion of a relative you do not share, the realization that another person is making things up, or twisting the truth. A person convinced he is correct will not consider any of your arguments valid since they cannot change his mind. Even if they try to drag you into an argument, it is in your best interest to keep your distance for your own good and remind yourself that disagreements of this nature are illogical.
2. Criticizing someone else’s actions
Forget about criticizing someone else’s actions. When you are in the family circle, turn off your judgmental function. What your relatives do with their lives is mostly none of your business. They are all adults who are responsible for their own lives. If you want to give some advice or express your concerns, do it alone with the person, without imposing your position
3. Remembering the past
It’s a good idea to remember the wonderful times from the past with your family at the dinner table. You may experience nice feelings of nostalgia, enjoy each other’s company while laughing at humorous stories, and become even closer to one another. But the instant that the talk brings up topics that any of the relatives would prefer to keep quiet, the family reunion takes on a negative meaning in that same moment itself. Suppose you want to avoid earning the anger of everyone in your family. In that case, you should not bring up any traumatic, embarrassing, or unpleasant occurrences from the past during this conversation.
4. Having a conversation about family members when they are not there
Try to exercise some restraint if you want to talk about the life of a relative who could not attend a family reunion, but you truly want to. Even if you are comforted by other family members, and even if you can have an interesting conversation by breaking down the person’s highs and lows, the stability of your relationship is called into question due to the situation. Everyone may be entertaining at first, but by the time the conversation is through, most people will realize that the next time, the topic of everyone’s gossip may very well be themselves.
5. Replying to rudeness with rudeness
It’s not the same with relatives; you don’t have to get along or respect them. However, returning rudeness with rudeness during a family gathering is a terrible idea and should be avoided at all costs. The sole result of aggression is greater hostility. It only takes a few words spoken without thinking to escalate an already uncomfortable discussion into a full-blown violent altercation. An unpleasant aftertaste from such a reunion will linger for a considerable time, even though everything can, in all likelihood, be resolved.
6. Putting others down to promote your own ego
It is wonderful if it is customary in your family to brag about one another’s successes to other family members. But it’s one thing to talk about successes when the time is right; it’s another entirely to share your feelings with the people you care about. And it is a wholly different thing to brag about your accomplishments incessantly, stray from the matter at hand, glorify yourself, and demand favorable treatment. It is advantageous if a few of your family know about your achievements. It is in your best interest to communicate this information to the people closest to you.
7. Envying one another
There is nothing wrong with being envious of your relatives; there is nothing wrong with doing so as long as your envy does not take on a nasty color and does not start to show to other people. Mocking the successes of other people, casting doubt on the skills and potential of members of your family, and undervaluing their work, even in jest, are all behaviors that will absolutely and unquestionably poison the relationship that your relatives have with you. You must show each other encouragement and refrain from harboring feelings of envy or competition when one of you achieves greater success in your professional or personal life. You can be certain that when you display your envy, people won’t treat you as nicely as they did in the past.
8. Asking uncomfortable questions
Let’s get one thing straight: when you’re with your family, you shouldn’t bring up any sensitive topics or ask awkward questions. They are referred to as “uncomfortable questions” because the individual being questioned does not want to answer them for various reasons. Even if he chooses not to answer the question, he may still experience feelings such as shame, embarrassment, discomfort, and other negative emotions that will drive him to withdraw from you. Don’t put your relative in such an awful position by trying to use your brilliant brains and creative imagination on them; use them on someone else instead.
9. Compare yourself to other people in your family
Stay away from making comparisons between yourself and other members of your family. You shouldn’t make an effort to distinguish yourself from a less wealthy relative, bring out another person’s faults, or comment on the conditions of another person. This will not only spoil the family reunion but also make you look awful in front of everyone. If you have something important to say to your loved ones, you should do so without mentioning anyone else in the family. You shouldn’t jeopardize the quality of your relationships with your relatives because of your ego.
10. Inquire about their past experience
It’s common for relatives older than you to try to impart some of their life wisdom to you, and they’ll often use the fact that they’ve lived longer as an excuse. Do not be in a hurry to point out to them that just because they are older does not mean that their opinion carries any more weight than yours, that times are changing swiftly, and that the experience of past generations is quickly becoming less valuable, but do point these things out to them. Your comments will, at the least, result in further confusion and anger, and, at worst, they will cause a fight to arise. It is best to move the topic in order to disengage from the conversation gracefully.