It is imperative that you accept your embarrassing relative for who they are. You will soon be enjoying their visits to your family gatherings. Love them for their idiosyncrasies, not in spite of them. There are several fun ways to survive a visit from the loose walnut in your family tree. Please be cautious as you try some of the pointers to follow. Your goal is to learn how to deal with the embarrassment, not intentionally hurt the offending kin folk.
The most important thing to remember is that every person has different personalities and styles. You can only be embarrassed if you allow yourself to be. Accepting those relatives that embarrass you is the first step in dealing with the problem. It is obviously not a problem for the person that is embarrassing. If it isn't, it might be time to simply accept and love them for who they are.
When embarrassment is caused by an action of a family member, such as alcoholism, there can be an answer. First of all, you will have to confront the offender. Be as diplomatic as possible about it. Causing the other person to feel as though you are attacking him/her will only put him/her on the defensive. Sit down to talk to this person and state your feelings about how the drinking changes his/her personality which in turn embarrasses you. Offer information on groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous. It may be necessary to tell the person that until he/she seeks help, you can no longer be around him/her.
If the offense is simply a clothing matter, you could offer to take the relative on a shopping trip. You don't have to let him/her in on your embarrassment. Make suggestions for clothing while you are out. He/she may well appreciate the advice and you will have fun all at the same time.
Short of telling someone that he/she is embarrassing you with their loud voice and rude comments, there isn't much you can do about this one. The only other option is to bring attention to the person so that he/she knows she is being too loud. This sometimes results from hearing problems. People who don't hear well often talk much louder yet don't realize it. If you feel this is the case, you might offer advice on ways to help this person hear better.
This is a great way to ensure that your other guests do not feel uncomfortable when the embarrassing moments happen. You should be open with your friends about what they may be about to experience. Fill them in on past escapades of your relative. Now is the time to announce the contest. Each guest will be given a piece of paper. They will then choose a time and an embarrassing event that they feel your relative will perform. Inform them there will be prizes awarded at the end of the evening. You will be amazed at how fun your gathering will be. Instead of dreading the impending embarrassments, your guests will be rooting for your zany kinfolk. Please monitor this contest closely; there may be some cheaters in the room. Do not allow any unnecessary encouragement by the contestants.
Make sure you delegate important tasks to your bothersome loved one. Keeping them preoccupied and making them feel important, tends to keep embarrassing incidences to a minimum. Optimally, these tasks should involve keeping your relative separated from the rest of your friends and family. Keep a list handy of things you forgot to buy for your gathering. The moment you sense they are about to begin performing, take them aside and beg for their help. The list should consist of hard to find items. This will ensure that the loose cannon will have to visit several stores. At least one of the items you need should only be available in a specialty shop at least ten miles from your home.
Accepting the Inevitable
You know you are going to be embarrassed. Accepting this fact will make it easier to get through your party or visit. Sometimes your reaction is what the person is aiming for. Determine to keep a smile on your face and never let your guard down. Your will likely be watched for any signs of discomfort, this will just add fuel to the fire. If your relative knows they can get a reaction from you, they will likely pull out all the stops.
Relax and enjoy their visit. Everyone has some little quirk in their personality, and we all have at least one relative we would rather leave off our invitation list. You are not alone. Please know that there are others just like you, and right now they are planning contests and diversionary tactics on their journey to acceptance.
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