Even people on the best of terms fight. It is an intrinsic part of being different people. But somehow family seems to get under our skin more than other people.
We should get along with family the most, and maybe that is why it irks us so much. Maybe the constant close proximity or the annoying habits you forgot about while you were at school are the real perpetrators. Either way, at some point over the holiday season you have probably felt that slight tinge of homicidal frustration. So to avoid being the next special feature on your local news, here are 10 tips for dealing with your family:
1. Master the head nod and ignore.
Once you are an adult in your family, everyone starts to talk about things you honestly have no interest in or just really do not want to hear about. Whatever it may be, there is a solution: Just simply nod and hear turn their talking into white noise. They will either be satisfied with themselves, or they will stop being so dense for once and pick up on the fact that you really do not care for anything they have to say ever.
If you are really lucky, they will stop talking to you all together… forever. Just recede into your mind. Think about literally anything except what the person is telling you, but remember to nod slightly every so often. Did you finish that show you started at the beginning of the semester? What is that cute person in your elective up to? Did you pack that one book you were meaning to get around to? How does your hair look? What is that one friend from high school doing?
2. Take up an instrument, and never stop (or at least until the break is over).
Maybe you already play an instrument. Maybe you never learned. Either way, pick one up, and never stop. Literally, never stop playing that instrument. Drive your family mad with the sound of your music. Make your family beg you to stop playing only for them to be rebuked by your speech about how you want to be the best musician for that instrument ever. Luckily, practicing for 744 hours straight will have the benefit of making you the best practitioner of that instruments, despite the detriment to your health caused by not sleeping for a month.
3. Become a meditation master.
Meditation is a great way to de-stress. However, under the extreme circumstances of dealing with your family, it is necessary to take your meditation game to the highest level possible. Before you go home, read everything you can about meditation. Once your home, at the slightest annoyance recede into the shelter of your mind. Let go of all earthly concerns as you fall deeper and deeper into the ocean that is your mind. Let the forces of the universe flow through you as all the annoying habits of your family go on unnoticed. Do this for 31 days, as by this point you will be beyond the need for food, water, or sleep and may even transcend this reality, possibly to the seventh dimension.
4. Constantly “Rocky” montage.
Everyone knows the best way to fast forward through something is to literally bend time and space in order to create a montage. Everyone from “Team America World Police” to “The Karate Kid” has used montages. But no one does the montage better than “Rocky.”
If you have to do it, do it like a champ. Do not stop there though, go the full Ryu from “Street Fighter” craziness. Punch trees. Lift boulders. Stand under ice-cold waterfalls. Fight a bear. Fight multiple bears. Fight multiple bears, at the same time.
This list item has the added benefit of keeping you in shape over the holidays.
5. Catch up on LITERALLY EVERYTHING
Everyone has that one show on Netflix they have been meaning to catch up on, but have you ever considered catching up on every show since the advent of television? What about the classic collection of every film from “Citizen Kane” to “Ant Boy?” Do you know about “Ant-Boy?” I am certain you do because at one point you looked for a Marvel movie on Netflix and that movie came up in the suggested movies.
How about those much needed hours of leisurely reading of the entire Western Canon of books? Or the entire collection of Chinese literature, or the entire literary history of Zimbabwe? No family member will bother you when they see you are constantly busy catching up on something.
This list item has the added benefit of making you the smartest person on the planet.
Ty Davis can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @tydavisACW.