Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Dealing with Difficult Family Members

Artwork credit: The Huffington Post
They are a part of every holiday event; we’re talking in-laws, relatives, and uncontrollable kids. During the holidays, rough relationships with family members cause stressful communications, hesitant gift giving, and hurt feelings. Family members can also hinder your event responsibilities if they become over-involved to the point where you lose control and they take over your event. Don’t panic over any of these tricky family situations, we have life-saving tips to avoid the dreaded family feud.

  • Keep calm. With every event or family gathering the pressure is high to perfect every detail and create a memorable event. The stress can cause you to crack under the pressure. If the event doesn’t go exactly as planned, be professional and keep a positive attitude. Remain composed and offer encouragement, whether it be to the cook who just burned the ham or uninvited guests. It will all end soon, so enjoy every moment whether good or bad. 
  • It’s not your problem to fix. Attend to the direct problem (bad pictures or a flawed menu), but remain a concerned bystander when it comes to personal issues. When a relative’s deep-seated issues are brought to attention, be an involved listener, but don’t feel responsible to fix those problems in one night, be it messy relationship issues or the attack of the gossip queens, you should stay out of it to keep a grasp on your sanity.
  • Know your limits. If kids are running around, don’t scold them unless they are your own children. Even if you have their parent’s permission to reprimand them, let the child know that they need to be on their best behavior rather than waiting for them to test their limits. 
  • Let them know your boundaries. You should respect a family’s issues, but at the same time don’t let anyone treat you in a derogatory way. As a professional, if you feel that an individual has crossed a boundary, let the host know and let them handle the outburst.
  • Cut your ties. If the situation is physically or verbally inappropriate, step away and break communication completely. If a drunk party-goer is going on a tangent, there is no need to provoke them into a more aggravated state. 
With these tips, we hope you can avoid any unnecessary, uncomfortable, family tension. Above all take this time to enjoy spending time with your family, whether they are difficult or not. Also with the many holiday events, help others celebrate with their families and enjoy this holiday season.

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