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Advice / Succeeding at Work / Break Room

The 5 Most Annoying Questions Your Family Asks (and How to Answer Them)

It’s Thanksgiving—the time of year for turkey, giving thanks, and spending time with your family. Particularly, your extended family. You know, those twice-removed relatives who only see you once a year and just love to bombard you with judging questions about your career, future plans, and love life (or lack thereof).

Well, this year, we’ve got you covered with a few witty responses to the most obnoxious of family inquiries. Pull out one of these answers, stop Uncle Al in his tracks, then head to the couch and dig into the pumpkin pie.

1. “No boyfriend this year? When are you going to end up with a nice guy?”

a) “Oh Aunt Mary, I already have! He’s actually working on a movie in Tokyo right now, so he couldn’t make it. But he promised he’d make it up to me over Christmas with a ski trip to Vail. Sorry I won’t be seeing you then!”

b) “Actually, we just broke up. He couldn’t handle the fact that I made six figures more than he did. I just really need someone who can keep up with my successful career, you know?”

c) “No kidding. Know anyone?”

2. “You’re still looking for a new job?”

a) “Yeah—it’s tough. I’ve had so many amazing offers that I just can’t decide between them.”

b) “No, I’ve actually started one already. Unfortunately, it’s a top-secret project for the government, so I can’t tell you anything about it. I’ve said too much already… ”

c) “Yep. Know anyone?”

3. “Your brother is too busy to make it this year? His job must be going so well.”

a) “Actually, he got fired three months ago. He’s been too embarrassed to show up to family functions since then—or even tell my parents. Do me a favor and don’t mention it?”

b) “I wish he was here, too. I guess he just doesn’t care about spending time with the family as much as I do.”

c) “I know! He’s a real go-getter. I should hire him to work for me.”

4. “Are you still writing? When are you going to get serious and go to law school?”

a) “Actually, I don’t have to. Yale Law was so impressed with my admissions application, they just gave me an honorary JD.”

b) “Maybe in a couple of years. I just got a book deal, so I need to wrap that project up first, you know?”

c) “I’d love to chat about this, but I think Mom needs some help with the mashed potatoes. It's a shame we’ll be sitting at opposite ends of the table.”

5. “Well, that’s an interesting hair color. Why'd you choose that?”

a) “I actually just finished up a modeling gig and they dyed it this color for the shoot. I know, it’s a tough job, but someone’s got to do it.”

b) “It’s a little crazy, but my boyfriend loves it. You know who Ryan Gosling is, right?”

c) “You don't like it? I was actually going for your color!”

Photo of family holiday courtesy of Shutterstock.