The Daily Gamecock

Column: Avoid awkward conversations with family members this Easter

As families are getting together over during Easter, they'll be eager to talk to the college students after not having seen them for a while, but sometimes the conversations brought up can make one uncomfortable. During these moments, students have to be able to navigate these discussions to relieve some of the awkwardness, which can be achieved by diverting, mitigating or avoiding the conversation.

Sometimes, families can bombard other members with questions that cross personal boundaries. They often don't understand that there are topics in ones personal life others may not want to share. 

Diverting the conversation often helps family members get off track about what they were asking in the first place, and it helps create a smooth transition to another conservation topic that would be less invasive of ones personal life. 

“What I try to avoid is the boyfriend question,” Kennedy Hoffman, a first-year communications student, said. “(They're) like, 'Do you have a boyfriend?' I'm like, 'No.' And then I normally just end up talking about my new friends I've made.”

Shifting the conversation to something one enjoys talking about will help their family learn more about what's going on in their life without having to ask agonizing questions to force them into conversing with them. 

Oftentimes, family members can get into heated conversations about topics, especially relating to politics, they have strong opinions about and create a divided environment that ruins the wholesomeness of being together. 

One can lessen the tension of these conversations by hearing both sides of the argument and helping their family members understand where the others are coming from when they make their points. 

“My family is very divided, where one side is extremely republican and the other side is extremely democratic. So for myself, I always try to navigate it where I myself personally don't align myself with either political party," Nicholas Johnson, a second-year philosophy and political science student, said. "I don't necessarily try to avoid it as much as I just try to kind of mitigate it and understand it a little bit.” 

Acting as a mediator can make family discussions less aggressive. By doing so, one can make the environment of the gathering less hostile and engage in meaningful conversation without having to yell over their family members. 

However, some of these conversations can be too overbearing and awkward, and the only way to get out of these is by simply walking away. 

“A lot of the topics that come up are politics-wise,” Mitchell Jackson, a first-year business student, said. "That's kind of the only one that's kind of weird disconnect between my family. I normally kind of stay away from it. I just stay up in my room. My family is small enough where they don't force me into the conversation." 

Tensions that arise from heated debates within the family can be too much to handle, so it's best to isolate oneself from the situation and avoid talking about topics that make them uncomfortable.

Being in college, the holidays are probably one of the few times college students get to see their family, so family members tend to want to know what is going on in every aspect of their life. With Easter around the corner, students need to be able to make conversation with family without having to sacrifice comfort and personal space. 


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