Now sometimes you just don't know how much you dislike a person or a group until the family invite shows up in the mail or drops from the lips of your favorite people, "Hey just wanted to let you know So and So is having an event, you coming?" You are either excited within or resent the idea of going. "Is my least favorite person going to be there?" you might boldly ask. Of course, the response might be, "I don't know, just come. Don't let him/her keep you away." And so you might go along.
Here are seven signs it is best not to take someone up on his or her offer to attend a family event:
1. Your ex is now remarried and has children. If the past is in the past, why does The Past feel the need to be around the ex's family? It is obvious there are some lingering emotions especially when one has children, so reschedule if you know you can't manage hurt feelings or drop children off with their relatives while you spend time with your new beau's family or stay home. Most hosts of family events are more concerned about wanting everyone together to make themselves feel good, but what about how you feel?
2. Avoid the family event if the number of people you don't like far outweigh the ones that you do. Once again, make plans to see your favorites another time.
3. You don't like the cooking, atmosphere or the vibe you get when you are around them.
4. You heard some bad things about the family and you know you just can't keep your mouth shut about them.
5. The family's traditions go against your religious beliefs.
6. You are often angry, impatient, moody, or have habits that impair your best judgment. Do yourself and the family a favor and stay home.
7. People have told you in so many words, "I don't think it is a good idea to come around..." point well taken, stay away. Although some defiant folks will want to crash the party anyway, bad idea especially when some individuals might have the police on speed dial.
So when it comes to those either much anticipated or dreaded family events, be wise and do what's right.
Nicholl McGuire is the author of Genealogy X: What to Expect When Researching Family History and offers spiritual insight on family issues and other challenges here.