[Chinese New Year Special] How To Survive Awkward Family Conversations This New Year

With the excitement over the prospect of receiving Ang Paos from relatives, something that’s really talked about is the interactions with those relatives. 

With Chinese New Year just around the corner, there’ll be many relatives visiting you and it can sometimes be overwhelming. They have a knack of initiating awkward conversations and giving some strange advice around this time.

Some conversation topics that may make you feel really awkward – and how to manage them:




Got a partner? That’s always a juicy topic to bring to the table. If you’re not comfortable sharing more, a good way to tackle this conversation is to divert their minds off the topic.

If your aunt is asking you the whereabouts of your partner, you can tell them you’re pretty much committed to work and then talk about something else. Otherwise,avoid it with humor and mockingly tell them that no one prioritizes marriage these days. It all depends on what kind of relationship you have with your relatives.  


Me Vs Their Children


This is really common in all families. Being proud of your children is one thing, comparing them with other children is another. They may start asking you about your grades, university, job – or worse – salary!

The key to this situation is to take control of the questions – whenever they ask you a question, ask them back. More often than not, they were just hoping for the chance to brag and wasn’t really interested. 


Monster In Laws


Don’t get along with your in-laws? This could be a tricky situation as you might feel personally attacked as they go about being saints to everyone else. To ease the tension, initiate small talk and take interests about their lives – the more they talk, the less you do, the less you reveal. Alternatively, help them with the chores and bring out your strengths! 


Follow Back? No, Thank You


This happens to almost everyone. Most of us don’t want our relatives to know about every detail of our lives and it’s completely alright too. But what if they keep pestering you as to why you didn’t accept their friend request on social media platforms?

Simply avoid that by saying you don’t use it anymore. Of course, make sure no one else around the table is following you (closely). You can also tell them innocently how it “slipped from your vision” and you didn’t see their request. Alternatively, you can always be upfront and tell them you’re just not comfortable sharing certain aspects of your life and hope they understand (which is very, very rare).

Written by

Cheryl Toh

Last updated on

January 23rd 2020, 5:31 pm

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