With Halloween over, it's pretty much the start to family gathering holiday season.  Generally, I'm talking Thanksgiving and Christmas but even if you celebrate something else, it usually means hanging out with the fam, many you might not see often.

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We all have that one member of the family that drives us insane, some of us have three of those family members.  They might be judgy of your life choices like how you dress, act, or what you do for work.  Or maybe they are the type that are politically extreme to one side or the other and just have to let everyone know.  Then of course there is the family "expert" on every subject.  No matter their issues, you know the kinds of people I'm talking about, ones that grind your gears.

If your family meets for a holiday in a larger home, it might be easy enough to avoid the ones you don't want to be around, but that's not always possible.  Here are some ways I've dealt with frustrating family members at social events.

Don't respond when provoked or do

It's easier said than done, and someone bringing up the past, or trying to poke the bear wants a response.  That kind of bullying behavior is best handled by redirecting the conversation or just simply ignoring them, so you're not giving them what they want.  While not engaging can be difficult, try to be the bigger person.  Or go my not the brightest route if I'm a few bourbons in and fire back with some sarcasm to try and shut them up.  Because sometimes it just feels good to get some zingers in, and then walk away.

Be a social butterfly

What I mean by this is keep yourself moving around the gathering, not just planted in one spot as a stationary target.  Even if a particular person you'd rather not chat much with keeps ending up where you are, just keep on moving to the next group and conversation.

Get your drink on

Alcohol isn't always the solution if you're like me and get extra sarcastic to ignorant people, but sometimes it helps.  Depending on your personality type and ability to have a safe ride home, a few cocktails might be enough to help you care less about idiot family members running their mouths.

Leave the gathering early

This might be difficult to do if you're the host, but if not, you can always bail early.  If a particular family member is really grinding your gears, get quality time and conversation in with those you want to be around earlier than latter.  That way when you need to pull the pin and head out for your own mental health, you won't feel as bad.

Along with all of that, I'll add to try going into a family gathering with a positive attitude.  I've been guilty of just dreading being around some people and it made me sour about even going.  That just sets a negative tone for the whole event and sometimes makes you forget about how awesome it will be to hang with the cool people.

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