The racist/homophobic grandparents
Sometimes it’s hard to equate the cuddly Werther’s-sucking old person with the torrent of old-fashioned and offensive bilge that comes pouring out of their mouth.
The fiercely dogmatic political uncle
Picture the scene. It’s a family reunion and just before the profiteroles are passed round, your Uncle Sidney proclaims “how that sensible man in Iran has got the right idea with public stonings”. Cue jaws dropping on the floor and a full-scale row.
The parents who nag about your overindulgence
“It sounds trite, but it’s only because they care,” points out Paula Hall, relationship psychotherapist at Relate. “Very few parents will approve of you smoking or boozing to excess, however hypocritical it may seem. If you must drink or smoke, make sure you’re discreet about it.”
The parents who overindulge themselves
Some parents never learn. When you see your folks smothering waffles in melted cheese and puffing away as if lung cancer has never happened, it can be downright hurtful. But instead of preaching, try and educate them by giving them NHS leaflets or showing them advice online.
The dad with irritating habits
Ingrained habits, such as sniffing like a warthog or stirring coffee with a blackhead gun can be as cringey as outrageous comments. There’s no helping it though, try focusing on their good qualities instead.
The aunt who always asks about your love life
She’s any singletons nightmare. The probing aunt who gives you a sympathetic pat then tells you exactly why you’re not getting any action. You won’t get away with it if you’re in a relationship either; she’ll want all the gossip.
The straight-A-student cousin
You were proud of your results until you call to tell your grandparents and they’re too busy gushing about suck-up Sylvia’s grades to congratulate you on yours. Cow.
The slightly odd distant relation
You’ve never met them, but you’ve heard about them. Whether they’ve miraculously disappeared, joined a cult or bullied your grandma when they were children, they’re the odd relative you’re curious about but hope you’ll never meet.
The eco-refusenik parents
Have the kind of parents who think recycling is something to do with mountain bikes? Who return from Sainsbury’s in their 4×4 clutching enough plastic bags to suffocate the entire north Atlantic seal population? Don’t worry though, if you say things like, ‘ooh, you seem to have put the glass bottle in the wrong bin‘, they’ll eventually learn by osmosis.
The annoying small child
You’ve watched numerous dance routines, listened to countless tantrums and you’re covered in grime. This round of hide and seek, they can stay behind your Nan’s net curtains.
Photo of Russian dolls from Shutterstock.
By Christian Koch
Updated on 25-Sep-2012