We are now in the season for family cookouts, but for some, the family cookout is the last place they want to be. When its hot outside and you Aunt Gertrude with the foul breath wants to have an hour long discussion about your future, use some of these helpful tips to maintain your sanity.
When in doubt, dance it out
What is a family cookout without some good music? For the times when the older generation tries to corner you in and ask about where you want to be in the next ten years or god forbid when you’re getting married, find your way to the dance floor. People are less likely to try to have a conversation with you while you’re dancing.
If you’re not a dancer, don’t worry, just gently sway to the music. The main point of this tip is that busing yourself with another activity can really help with unwanted attention and questions. It is an easy way to avoid uncomfortable situations, so you don’t have worry!
Find your person
Most of the time, there is at least one person there that you can connect with and talk to. If you didn’t come with them, find that family member that you can just sit and laugh with. At the end of the day, the family cookout should be fun, it should not be an event full of anxiety and dread. So, to make it as enjoyable as possible, find a person that you can have a good time with.
Go in with a game plan
When the inquisition starts at the family cookout, you need to be prepared because stumbling over your answers is not an option. If you’re like me, I start to sweat and stutter, so it really is a rough time. In order to avoid such unpleasantness, go in with answers. They don’t have to be the answers that your family wants to hear, but they should be answers your comfortable with.
You know your family better than anyone, so play the conversation over in your head and that way no matter how it goes, it won’t be new territory for you. At the end of the day, you are the only person that needs to be fine with the way you live your life, so don’t make it your goal to try to please everyone.
You don’t have to stay the whole time
Unfortunately, not everyone enjoys their family, and no matter how much effort is put in, no difference is made. For those cases, sometimes its absence that makes the heart grow fonder. If you know that you only can last a short while around your family, plan to leave earlier or come later. It will be miserable for everyone if you stay the whole time when you clearly don’t want to be there. So know yourself to know your limit.
Enjoy this time while you can
We can all joke and kid about going to a family cookout and getting annoyed by the loud mouth uncle that wants to talk about the good ole days, but be mindful that these moments are precious. Some of my fondest memories of family members that have past are from my family cookouts. Even when I got annoyed and frustrated with them, I still look back fondly.