If you’re being hounded by askholes
If you’re bracing yourself for questions about when you’ll find a husband, remember: ‘You have a right to maintain personal boundaries,’ says counselling psychologist and life coach Kerry Acheson (Consultingkerry.co.za). It’s okay to share only as much as you feel comfortable sharing. If you prefer to keep things jolly, questions can be shut down with a lighthearted, ‘Don’t worry, you’ll be the first to know!’ Or you can laugh it off before redirecting the conversation or excusing yourself. If it’s a question your family asks often, a direct approach can help prevent it in the future. ‘I’m not really comfortable discussing that; I’m sure you understand’ is firm but respectful. It’s also helpful to decide on a default response beforehand. A standard line such as ‘When I decide the time is right’ works well.
If you’re expected to buy gifts but broke is your middle name
Rather than shopping yourself into debt, evaluate your financial situation – then decide on your total gifting budget and stick to it. If that means smaller gifts for everyone, so be it. Alternatively, why not start a new gifting tradition? We love the idea of Secret Santa: instead of buying something for everyone, each family member draws one name from a hat. Set a budget (with everyone’s