How to React to Family Members Who Are Rude and Mean

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Relatives can be mean, rude and at times insensitive to you and your family. Whether you are at a family get together or a special event for a family member, it seems impossible to escape this one relative who makes your head spin. However, with a few tips, such as walking away from the conversation, approaching the member before the event, or taking a few breaths and saying thank you, you can remain calm and collected.


Schedule a visit with the mean or rude relative.

Discuss the actions that have hurt you. This may become heated, so be careful how you choose your words.

Tell this relative that you forgive him for their words and/or actions in the past. Encourage him to attend future gatherings without the rudeness.

Wait It Out

Read or listen to the rude or mean comment.

Take a suitable time period -- this may be a day or a few hours -- to respond to the relative. By waiting it out, your emotions won't run rampant in the next confrontation with the relative.

Discuss with the relative the way the comment offended you.

Thank You Approach

After you receive a rude comment on a meal you have cooked, something you are wearing, or the way your house looks, take a minute to process the comment.

Respond to the rude comment by saying "thank you." This will usually catch the offender off guard and she will not make any more comments.

Continue to mingle or talk with the relative. If she makes another degrading comment, try saying thank you one more time, or simply walk away from the relative.

Before the Next Gathering

Approach the mean or rude relative a few days before the family gathering.

Explain to the relative how the offending words or actions that he has said or done in the past have offended you or others.

Ask the relative to refrain from any of these derogatory comments at the future gathering.

Talk out any ongoing issues with your relative so you can come to common ground, so that everyone is comfortable at the gathering.