It’s that time of the year again; sipping mugs of eggnog by the fireplace, watching nightly Hallmark movie specials, and engaging in uncomfortable conversations with your family members.  

Asking painfully awkward questions appears to be one of the only holiday traditions your family fails to forget, and unfortunately faking bad reception doesn’t work at the dinner table. We understand the frustration, and we are here to help with expert advice on how to save your personal brand from blemishes in front of your entire extended family.

The block-and-bridge technique is a tool learned and loved by public relations professionals and holiday gatherers alike. Together, we can turn tough questions in your favor with the simple act of blocking uncomfortable topics and bridging into positive ones. Using our extensive experience, we will prepare you to answer (or avoid) even the most pressing questions this holiday season.

*Disclaimer: We are not responsible for any family bickering or painful follow-ups that may result. We are only the messengers. Love you Mom.* 

SCENARIO 1: “So, have you thought about your 5 year plan?” 

This question is a given for both job interviews and casual dinner conversation with dad. In either scenario, the interviewer (or paps) is gauging your long-term goals to make sure that they 

exist. In the event that you don’t even have your 1-month plan prepared, here is how you turn the conversation around: 

“While that is important, it is also important to remember the progress that I have made over the past 5 years thanks to your support. I want to take this time to appreciate the present and spend this quality time with you. Let me emphasize again how grateful I am to have you in my life.” 

 

SCENARIO 2: “Why are you still single?” 

Our advice remains the same for any awkward question about your love life: acknowledge, avoid, and transition. For example:

“Thank you for wondering! I can’t speak to that, but I will say that our engagement has risen 35% in the past 6 months on dating applications including Bumble and Hinge. This year, we are hoping to see more positive results as we expand our digital presence to up-and-coming platforms such as Coffee and Bagel.” 

 

SCENARIO 3: “Why haven’t you visited recently?” 

This one is tricky, and we can’t guarantee the conversation won’t end with a plane ticket to visit Grandpa in Naples next month. However, here is what we recommend: 

“Although I understand why you see it that way, phone call metrics reflect that our communication has risen remarkably in the past year. We have overcome significant obstacles such as navigating your new iPad and translating key text messaging phrases such as ‘OMG.’ And that reminds me, have I told you about TikTok yet?” 

 

SCENARIO 4: “How is [insert name of childhood friend you haven’t spoken to since the 4th grade picnic] doing?” 

Hopefully you will be able to answer this question by doing a quick under-the-table search on social media to find your childhood best friend’s engagement photo or a snapshot of their dog. However, in the event that you ACTUALLY haven’t spoken to him/her since they stole your lunch in grade school, here is how you want to answer this question: 

“I cannot speak for [name], but I’d be delighted to tell you about some of the new friends I’ve made this year…” 

 

Happy Holidays from Momentum! We wish you a festive season full of joy, laughter, and quality time with friends and family. 😊🎁