Anyone else feel awkward around Christmas (or any) family get togethers?

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by chrono1081, Dec 23, 2011.

  1. chrono1081 macrumors 604


    Jan 26, 2008
    Isla Nublar
    Is it just me? Or does anyone else feel awkward around Christmas or other family get togethers?

    The thing that makes it awkward for me is I just turned 30, and rude relatives ask things like "Why don't you have a girlfriend" or "Why aren't you married?"

    I generally reply with a "Oh well I haven't had time to buy a girlfriend at Walmart yet." or "I'll get married as soon as they legalize gay marriage in Pennsylvania" (I'm not gay but the look on their faces are PRICELESS when I say that because a lot of them are "backwards thinking" so to speak.) Fortunately those responses do get the point across that its a rude question (in my opinion) to ask someone.

    Aside from rude relatives questions about my personal life, even my immediate family is weird with me. They act like its a special occasion when I'm around (I was overseas for 4 years but that ended a year and 3 months ago) and the fact that they act different makes me even more uncomfortable to the point where I don't even want to go around them. I DREAD family dinners because the attention always turns to me and it shouldn't. I'm boring and have nothing in common with any of them.

    Who knows maybe I'm just weird but does anyone else feel this way around family get togethers?
  2. iJohnHenry macrumors P6


    Mar 22, 2008
    On tenterhooks
    Always remember, you're the sanest person in the room. [​IMG]
  3. Hellhammer Moderator


    Staff Member

    Dec 10, 2008
    I sometimes feel like I'm at a retirement home, even though my relatives are fairly young (parents in early 40s, grandparents in late 60s). We were playing poker today and it was a total chaos. Explain something, and then re-explain it in the second round. Repeat that for X number of times. And it wasn't the first time we were playing poker with this same group.

    And the endless amount of times I (and everyone else) have heard the same stories, especially the stories what I did as a kid.

    Sometimes it's awkward but in the end, they are all very close relatives so it usually ends up being quite hilarious.
  4. RedburnIV macrumors regular


    Jun 21, 2010
    You're not alone man. I too will doing my best to avoid awkward and nosy questions. Happy holidays
  5. r1ch4rd macrumors 6502a


    Aug 5, 2005
    Manchester UK
    I have some of the same experience. I'll try and keep count of the number of times I get asked about whether I have a girlfriend or get told that I need to find one (I am single by choice) we can turn it into a competition :D.

    I really don't like being fussed over at my Mums house either. I have lived away from home (but still in the same country) for 8 years now so my visits home are fairly infrequent and my Mum doesn't seem completely aware of the fact that I can look after myself.
  6. KnightWRX macrumors Pentium


    Jan 28, 2009
    Quebec, Canada
    Why do you feel you're boring ?

    And why don't you have a girlfriend ?

    Obviously, if the attention is drawn to you these people are interested in you and what you have to say. Maybe instead of being a smart alec, you could hold an actual conversation ?

    I always have tons of fun at family get togethers. But of course, I answer questions without dodging and converse with the people there and find common ground even though we don't all share common interests.
  7. chrono1081 thread starter macrumors 604


    Jan 26, 2008
    Isla Nublar
    That would be a tough competition I'm sure! I too do not have one by choice as I will be most likely taking a new job out west very soon. The last thing I want is ties to the place I live in.

    As for the second bolded comment I know just what you mean! At family dinners my Mom literally tries to wait on me hand and foot and although I appreciate the gesture, I can't stand it. I am a very independent person and I feel awkward when someone "tries to take care of me" so to speak.

    They all like sports and hunt. I on the other hand am in to computer science, video game development, programming, 3D modeling, visual effects, photography, and snowboarding. None of them like any of that and don't even understand what it is.

    Since I have worked in IT for the past 10 (11 maybe) years (with only small breaks for military training) and just graduated college in Computer Science its really all I have to talk about. I'm sure they'd hate to hear all about OpenGL or the Unity game engine, or how I've been learning Houdini and Mari ;)

    By choice. I will be hopefully moving out west to a new job and do not want any ties. I've explained this numerous times to them but it never sinks in. My sister recently got married and thats all I heard about from everyone was "she got married before you did" as if it is some type of competition. My goals are different. I want to land my dream job before I start a family.

    I understand from an outside point of view I seem a bit rude with the comments, but its just because I hear them time and time again and I know that everyone whispers about me being 30 and single behind my back. I have a very nosy family that noses about everyones business and I can't stand that.
  8. vitzr macrumors 68030


    Jul 28, 2011
    Here's a thought.

    Nothing means anything, until you assign it a value.

    You have the advantage of knowing most of the questions already. So prepare a brief honest response. Next, be ready with a question to ask them so as to shift the focus. If they persist, relax and simply repeat yourself. They will respect your position. If they don't, then take that into consideration & make yourself number one, do not let it bother you.

    This is good practice for other times in life when we get quizzed about issues we may not be comfortable discussing.

    Remember the thought above and tell yourself the questions are not going to bother you this time.
  9. tktaylor1 macrumors 6502a


    Feb 16, 2010
    Nashville, TN
    Not ever before but tomorrow might get interesting. Just family stuff regarding "soon to be " marriage.
  10. Papanate macrumors regular

    Jul 21, 2011
    North Carolina
    This level of self absorption is mind boggling. Lighten up Francis - they are interested in you and your life. :D

    Do any of your Uncles or Aunts get naked and run around 'Streaking' after a boatload of Booze Nog? How about stupid stories that you've heard 10 thousand times being repeated ad naseum at every holiday get together?

    I have a sister in law whose behavior at holiday events has given me endless stories that has made me the life of the party for 30 years - mostly because everyone has at least one of those people in their lives and they love the opportunity to talk about it.

    I love family events - they weird - I can't control the talk - and someone always manages an embarrassing moment that they either forget or wish they could the next day.

    And you know what else? I didn't get married until I was in my Forties - by the time I was 35 and people had seen the parade of woman through my life most of the family were afraid to ask me anything....half the time they didn't even know if I was still Dating the gal they'd heard about 3 months prior...<G.
  11. acidfast7 macrumors 65816


    Nov 22, 2008

    how could anyone who has achieved anything not have bs with family?
  12. glocke12 macrumors 6502a


    Jan 7, 2008
    When I was younger (I am 43), and I am talking up until I was 14-15 or so I never really had a problem with family get togethers, for the most part anyway. I think it is safe to say that I actually had fun at them Once I was old enough to be independent I grew less interested in them. Part of this was I started to recognize the disfunctions in my family and extended family more and more and wanted no part of it.

    As an adult, family gatherings grew increasingly uncomfortable for me. Primarily because they usually involved my brother and his family, and sometimes his wifes family. They both live a lifestyle and have a set of interests that is quite different from my own, and it is safe to say that in some ways they look down, or "think differently" about people who are not like them.

    Like the OP, I also seldom had girlfriends that I would bring around. So the inevitable question was always popped up (are u dating? why not? blah..blah...blah). At some points I did have girlfriends, but I was never really into bringing them around my family.

    I like my brother and his family, but really don't enjoy spending that much time with him or his family. I usually put in about 4-5 hour obligatory appearance around the holidays or family functions and than go home and take shower.
  13. KnightWRX macrumors Pentium


    Jan 28, 2009
    Quebec, Canada
    So what ? I'm sure like all of us, you have opinions on current events, going on s in the world and do stuff outside computers all the time. You say you've done service, you probably have some stories to tell about that too.

    Find common ground. No need to discuss sports and hunting or computers. I don't really have common grounds with my family either, we always find some chitchat to talk about anyway. These family get togethers are about sharing some good moments together.


    Just answer that then "still haven't found my dream job yet!".

    But frankly, and that's my opinion, that's not a good reason at all. You'd pass up the girl of your dreams (let's say you meet her tomorrow) while you wait for a job that may or may not come up ? I hope you've really thought this through.

    In the end though, family gatherings are what you make of them. If you go in feeling awkward, the night is going to be awkward. If you go in for a good time, you're gonna have a good time.
  14. Tsuchiya macrumors 68020


    Jun 7, 2008
    I love some family events. Like within immediate family, it's fine and on Christmas day I have some cousins come over, again all quite close so it's comfortable. I suppose when we all start graduating, getting married/moving away from home it'll be a bit...strange.
  15. neiltc13 macrumors 68040


    May 27, 2006
    Don't worry. It's turkey day tomorrow, so if you do the carving then they can focus on your carving skill rather than you. Do a bad job, and they'll have even more to talk about.
  16. MasterHowl macrumors 65816


    Oct 3, 2010
    North of England
    I feel awkward because I don't really like half of the family who are coming round on Christmas day... they're so shallow and materialistic! Not my cup of tea at all...

    I plan on getting through the day with a little help from that new app that's come out where you can blow things up and a bottle of vodka :D
  17. Shrink macrumors G3


    Feb 26, 2011
    New England, USA
    With the exception of my sister (who doesn't celebrate anything, like me), I have managed (not unintentionally) to alienate myself from most of my relatives, with whom I have nothing in common.

    So I don't have the problem of family gatherings!:D

    Rather enjoy time with friends. You can't pick your family, but you can pick your friends.;)
  18. Big-TDI-Guy macrumors 68030


    Jan 11, 2007
    Chrono, your original post - 110% get what you mean, it's the exact same for me. To the letter, font, text size and spacing - your post was disturbing in the level of parallel to my own experience.

    When I was younger, it was different (easier), but now days, I share so little common ground with my family, it's difficult. The polar difference in political and social viewpoints. The fact all my siblings have children / family, whereas I do not. If not for the past, and experiences we shared as children - I would be completely unable to connect with my family.

    Perhaps this is why some relatives get drunk during family functions? :confused:

    I think Vitz gave some good advice, for the record.
  19. firestarter macrumors 603


    Dec 31, 2002
    Green and pleasant land
    My (younger) sister got married a couple of years back.

    The great thing about that is that once my niece arrived on the scene, suddenly everything revolves around her. So, look forward to your sister having kids 'cos at that point the rest of the family will loose interest in you!
  20. Happybunny macrumors 68000

    Sep 9, 2010
    Now that I'm a grandfather, I kinda love Christmas again. There was a time that it was a tedious grind. But now with all the young children, it's like it was when I was growing up again.
  21. (marc) macrumors 6502a


    Sep 15, 2010
    the woods
    Am I the only one here who actually likes his family?!
  22. mobilehaathi macrumors G3


    Aug 19, 2008
    The Anthropocene
  23. Papanate macrumors regular

    Jul 21, 2011
    North Carolina
    No I like my family - warts and all.

    However I can understand the inability of people to drop their walls long enough to enjoy the day and the family. I guess most people don't get that the more difficult people are the more likely they can't stand themselves and are externalizing the emotions. Breaking through that is quite rewarding IMHO.

  24. KnightWRX macrumors Pentium


    Jan 28, 2009
    Quebec, Canada
    Something I was trying to point out to Chrono without being so blatant. Drop the defenses and just enjoy the moment. It seems it's Chrono who has issues with his own life rather than being questionned about it.

    Maybe he's not so sure about his chosen path and to get asked to talk about it is what is making him awkward, not the family itself.

    Solve your inner demons and family gatherings are then what you make of them, not what you resent the most about yourself.
  25. firestarter macrumors 603


    Dec 31, 2002
    Green and pleasant land
    Nope. Your momma is quite popular 'round these parts too. :D

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