Etiquette Help for the Holidays
Dodging the Guilt Trips
Q. I am dreading the guilt-trippy “we never see you” comments from some of my family members. How am I supposed to respond?
A. “The trick to dealing with a guilt trip is to acknowledge and deflect,” says Smith. You might respond, “I feel like we never get to see each other either, but when we’re together we have so much fun.” If you have the next gathering scheduled, add: “I can’t wait to meet up during February break!” Don’t offer excuses for why you never see the person because “there’s no good answer for that,” says Smith. “If you say the kids’ sports schedules are hectic, she’s going to think: ‘Great, so Pee Wee soccer is more important than visiting me?’” Also avoid making vague statements you don’t mean: “Let’s definitely get together sometime soon!” If you do genuinely want to see more of the person, get out your calendar and set a date. Then make it your New Year’s Resolution to follow through.