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8 holiday tips for dealing with difficult relatives

You can’t change what your difficult relatives are going to do; you can only change yourself. But when you change, a relationship changes. Here are eight tips for doing that.

2. Think about how topics that seem innocuous to you might upset someone else

You may think you’re showing a polite interest, but some questions will rub a person the wrong way: “So do you have a girlfriend yet?” “When are you two going to get married/start a family?” “Didn’t you give up smoking?” “Can you afford that?” “When are you going to get a real job?” Show an interest with more open-ended questions, like “What are you up to these days?” or “What’s keeping you busy?” 

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