Dr. Erin Olivo's Tips for Dealing With Annoying Relatives

Don't let family stress ruin your holidays. Here's how to deal with clashing personality types to make it through the season fight-free.

Dr. Erin Olivo's Tips for Dealing With Annoying Relatives

Family gatherings at the holidays are the perfect time to practice an attitude of acceptance. There are some things you just cannot change, and your relatives fall into this category. But if you can learn to accept them and allow them to be who they are, you will suffer less. Here are the most common types of personalities and how to cope with them over the holiday season.

The Complainer

Nothing is good enough for your cousin Sarah. She criticized your canned cranberry sauce last year, but when you made it from scratch this year she said it was too tart. Every time she opens her mouth, it’s to complain: The gravy is too salty, the kids are too noisy, and the traffic getting here was bumper-to-bumper and just too much.

How to cope: Whew! You’re never going to please this person, so don’t go out of your way to try. Her complaints aren’t about you–they’re really about her and the bad mood that she isn’t managing well. Taking it personally and trying to gain her approval won’t work and will only make you feel worse. So expect the complaints and let them roll off. You might even find humor in the situation by trying to guess how many complaints will come out of her mouth and then start counting!

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