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Surviving the Lebaran Chit-Chat, The Smart Way

As the biggest holiday season in Indonesia approaches, millions of people are going to travel the great distance to gather with extended family this Idul Fitri. Despite the good food and long awaited meetings with loved ones, some of us might be haunted by the potential irritating interaction with nosy aunts or pushy uncles. 

Expect questions such as “When will you get married?” “Are my eyes deceiving me or do you really gain too much weight after last year’s Idul Fitri?” “Aren’t you ashamed to be the only one in the family that does not work for the government?” in between your plates of ketupat and opor ayam!

Do not let these taunting remarks ruin your holiday. Below are the tips to prepare your mental shield to dismiss harrowing questions and enjoy your Lebaran peacefully.

1. Get some alone time before meeting the family

People with social anxiety might find meeting people overwhelming, especially if they are extended family that are not really strangers but also not really familiar. Be kind to yourself and let yourself be prepared.

If the get-together happens at your parents’ home, you can allocate one or two hour alone in your childhood bedroom. Shut yourself inside, lock the door, and listen to your favorite music growing up. Revisit your favorite comic collection or have a great laugh reading your teenage diary entries! These childhood remnants can help you take refuge in the happy memories before opening the door and meeting your relatives as an adult.

However, if the get-together happens at your relatives home and you can’t seem to find a room where you can be alone for sometime, stay calm and remind yourself that the event will last only for a few hours to a day. 

2. Do dress up!

Put on some make up, wear your best Lebaran clothes, pamper yourself with pretty shoes! Taking time to doll yourself is also a kind of self-love that you deserve.

Spare some time before the holiday arrives to design your appearance during the Lebaran get-together. Many shops give holiday discounts during this season, so it is time to spend!

Even if you have dressed your best and your most annoying aunt still comments on your weight or on your non-existent fiance, just smile and diss the remarks with, “It’s okay, Auntie, I’m happy and feeling pretty this way.”

3. Prepare smart answers for stupid questions

It is irritating that people who have the audacity to ask nosy questions are mostly the older generation in the family, who are entitled to our respect. Some of them actually really care about us and their daring comments might just be a result of the lost agreement of what is acceptable and what is not in the generation gap. Being sassy mouthed or getting angry at their comments might only take you to a more uncomfortable situation, so your only choice is to prepare smart answers.

If you are really anxious about these potential questions, take a few days prior to the get-together to take notes of your preferred answers so that you will not blurt out disrespectful answers onsite. 

The too thin/too fat question? Tell them you’re happy with your body and are eating healthy. The career question? Tell them you are working on something you are really happy about, or aiming to work on something new and ask them to bless you with this new endeavor. The marriage question? Tell them you enjoy being alone now! Even if you’re not exactly happy with your body, your single life, or your career, just smile and giggle and cross your fingers that your answer will not be followed by a chain of unsolicited elderly advice!

You also can turn the table by asking them about their life. Ask your grandparents about her health, your uncle about his new hobby, or your aunts about her new hairstyle. Many times nosy chit-chat is just a symptom of them wanting attention and longing to share a bit of themselves.

4. Post-family-meeting aftercare

After the draining get-together, you are entitled to pamper yourself and regain your energy. Choose the kind of self-care you like and give yourself a much needed break!

One of the best selfcare is buying some nice bath-bomb and aromatherapy candles, and indulging yourself in a refreshing hot bath. Taking a nice, long bath with fragrant products can help you relax and be yourself again.

It is also great to shut yourself in your bedroom, supplied with a ransom of your favorite snacks and drinks, and do nothing but watch your favorite show on marathon. 

Having a nice video chat with your group of friends, AKA family of your choice, is also a good way to relax and get a healthy dose of laughter.

Meeting the family should not be a battle we fight every year, instead, it should be a time to enjoy the love and peace of being with your own kin. However, never forget to be kind to yourself first! Spoil yourself with crazy discounts from Lazada Lebaran Clearance Sale from March 30 to May 5. Get your needs to weaponize yourself against irritating family members and be ready to enjoy your best Idul Fitri.

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