Anonymous asked in Society & CultureEtiquette · 8 months ago

Christmas Day etiquette: Talking to Grandma leaves a horrible taste in my mouth even days after seeing/talking to her. How to handle this?

During the past few years as I've entered more and more into adulthood she has become overly critical about a lot of things about my life, yet she always talks about her niece (which I really don't give a crap of hearing about), and sometimes I also just want to scream in her face that I'm sick of hearing about her.

As I only have a couple years left to go before I turn 30, she constantly asks me if I am dating anyone, plan on getting married or having kids. After the 100 time in the past few years of being asked this, I politely told her that I have never dated a man, never plan on doing so, nor do I plan on getting married to anyone or having children. She has been better at avoiding this conversation, but still brings it up once in a blue moon to see if I've "grown out of my phase".

My mother had also confided in me that she wished that my grandmother had cared more about her education as she grew up, even though I assured my mother that I am proud of her for being an independent, money making career woman and to hell with what my grandma thinks about her. Last Christmas grandma told mom that she was never there for my father the way a woman should be, my father interjected and told my grandma he likes mother just the way she is, and he's proud of her, too.

My parents just want me to be polite and put up with her once in a while. I've just called grandma up and talked to her a couple days ago on her birthday, and I'm still dreading seeing her at Christmas.


I already had to hear about how wonderful the niece was over the phone on her birthday, and I just know she is going to bring her up again during the first hour of our Christmas gathering. I'm just sick of it. She was never like this with me growing up, in fact she treated me just as she is treating the niece now (who is 19, I'm 28). She also never thanks my mother for hosting Christmas or bringing her to the Doctors or bringing her shopping. 

4 Answers

  • denise
    Lv 7
    8 months ago

    Put a blue tooth earphone in and just keep nodding & saying "Yes, Yes".

  • 8 months ago

    Ultimately, you do what is right for you and if you need to physically distance yourself from your Grandmother, then do so as much as possible. There is no obligation for you to interact with your Grandmother on a level that is uncomfortable for you. If you do have a conversation, keep it at surface level and when/if you begin to feel unsettled, either change topics or put your focus elsewhere.

  • Foofa
    Lv 7
    8 months ago

    Part of being a adult is understanding that our fore-bearers will get old, go senile in some cases and generally present as a pain to us. But also knowing that we wouldn't exist without them and that we must tolerate them and make them as comfortable as possible until they leave us. At almost 30 you should have long since developed a thicker skin when dealing with elderly relatives. Psychology would say this woman bothers you because you're not quite sanguine with your own life choices yet and find her commentary undermining to your developing sense of self. Bet by the time you're 35 you won't find such statements so threatening.

  • Chanel
    Lv 6
    8 months ago

    Maybe your grandmother is a very unhappy woman. 

    Reminds me of a question on the radio 'what goes up and never goes down'?

    Answer: age.

    If a person does not lead a happy life and has too much time on their hands they can become resentful and play these minds games i.e. keep going on about the niece.

    Could it be that she does it on purpose to see the reaction you will give.

    Also the cliche 'we cannot always see what is under our nose' springs to mind and one day in the future you will realize why your grandmother was so annoying.

    She is an elderly person and they can feel that they are a burden so they lash out.

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