What to say to crazy family members

Dealing with family can drive you crazy and stress you out, especially during the holiday season. You may be staying with your family again for the first time in years, and it can bring up old patterns and behaviours.

Those closest to us know how to push our buttons and wind us up, causing us to react negatively. Be aware of certain triggers and things they might say to set you off.

Prepare before your see your difficult relative. Be aware of behaviour patterns that it will probably be repeated when you visit. If you know that your mean aunt Bertha might take a run at you during a family dinner, you may want to have a couple of comebacks ready to make her look foolish for always picking on you in public.

It’s true that you can choose your friends but you can’t choose your family. The challenging thing about dealing with difficult family is you may feel you are stuck with the person or situation. You can change jobs or swap out friends, but family is supposed to be for life.

Even though it is hard to deal with, remember that a lot of their bad behaviour is more about them than it is about you. If you take a closer look, you will often find that the person has challenges in many of their relationships.

Here are a few clever comebacks you can say that won’t ruffle too many feathers.


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What to say to crazy family members

1. Every family has one weird relative. If you don’t know who it is, then it’s probably you

2. Any family tree produces some lemons, some nuts and a few bad apples.

3. Families are like fudge – mostly sweet with a few nuts.

4. They say happiness is having a big, loving, caring, close-knit family in another city.

5. Love the people god gave you because one day he’ll want them back.

6. Is your drama going to have an intermission soon? I need to pee.

7. Just because you’re offended doesn’t mean your right.

8. Relax, we’re all crazy. It isn’t a competition.4

9. Getting in an argument with you is like getting arrested. Everything I say, can and will be used against me.

10. Home is where you can say anything you want because nobody listens to you anyway.

11. Our family is just one tent away from a full blown circus!

Why do people have trouble with their crazy families?

Marrying the person you love isn’t exactly a fairytale. What they don’t tell you in books is what happens after that big kiss in the end.

Apparently, Cinderella and Prince Charming have a family of their own and get tangled with marital issues in raising their brood of eight.

Every family inevitably suffers conflict from time to time. There are those issues that go unresolved and are being dealt with in unhealthy ways that take a toll on the relationship.

Family problems can stem from a variety of reasons including…

1. Communication issues 

Like most relationship stuff, communication is key to a healthy working family. However, communication is not reduced to just words, it’s in the language and behavior too.

If family members give silent treatment and use negative ways to communicate, the family dynamic shatters.  

Poor family communication resolves to yelling, blaming and keeping secrets. This will lead to misunderstanding and conflict.

The worst part is that the children may grow behavioral problems in the future as well and may have a hard time being close to the family.

2. Different values or beliefs 

Even a tight family who lives in the same house and hangs out together on the weekends have different opinions that clash.

From religion and politics to lifestyle — when family members have different values and beliefs, conflict can arise that can lead to arguments and tension.

If the problem continues and is not resolved peacefully, people can be intentionally aggressive and may harbor resentment.

3. Past conflicts or traumas 

When family members are unsure of how to address traumatic events, communication breaks down and the trouble in the family surfaces.

People respond to distressing situations in different ways…and these responses may grapple. One person may want to talk about it while the other is more withdrawn. Hence, the family relationship changes, and we don’t even realize the damage because it may take months or years to show.

4. Personality clashes 

We all have different personality types, correct? And it’s exactly through it that we process the world differently.

In the family, members who have the same attitude understand each other much better and speak the same language. The exact opposite happens when personalities bat heads and talking to crazy family members might make you feel like you are talking to an alien.

Most parents think that their child’s personality is inherent. When parents wrongly assume, it can cause frustration in the parents and confusion for the kids. 

These differences in temperaments and personalities can lead to tension and conflict.

5. Life changes 

Apparently, life changes kick in and everyone in the family takes off to do their own thing.

However, if other members of the family get busy, disagreements in the family may sprout. Think about it this way, when dad starts a new job and has to move away, the change can hit the whole family.

Couples fight over making the right call to move or not. On the other hand, the children stress about being in a new school and making new friends.

These life changes can strain the relationship in the family to the point that they completely cut each other off. 

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Where do you find a perfect family? It doesn’t exist.

It’s pretty normal to have challenges and conflict within the household. If your family is living through a nightmare of unhinged peace, you can start mending the cracks by understanding why they happened in the first place.

You can seek support from a trusted friend or a mental health professional. Work on your communication skills, set some boundaries and practice empathy, you’ll have a better shot at managing family quarrels before they get worse.

Whatever trouble you are facing in your family, there’s always a healthy way to handle them. So, what say you in giving your ménage a happily ever after…and some peace?

Famous people who have a crazy family

Not that we have any right to label anyone’s family as “crazy,” as we all have feelings and experiences to take into consideration.

However, for the sake of giving you a picture of what a “crazy family” dynamic might look like, here’s our list of some famous people with highly publicized family drama.

1. Meghan Markle 

If you’ve been following the life of the Duchess of Sussex, you get how fascinating her relationship is with her father, half-siblings and even her husband’s entire royal clan.

Meghan’s estranged family had made countless negative comments about her, including calling her out for being a “liar.” In fact, Thomas Markle, Meghan’s dad, didn’t even walk the future Duchess to the wedding altar back in 2018 nor did any of her siblings show up.

2. Angelina Jolie 

Angelina Jolie has a very tumultuous relationship with her Oscar-winning dad, John Voight. The famous actress has had many disagreements in the past with her father that led to them not speaking for several years.

To make things even worse, Jolie was also rumored to have cut ties with her only brother, James Haven, whom she had a very close relationship with.

3. Lindsay Lohan 

The former teen queen had many publicized controversial moments including her family’s legal troubles and addiction.

Lindsay Lohan accused her dad, Michael, of being emotionally and physically abusive to her, her mother and siblings. While the “Mean Girl” actress keeps her mom and siblings close, she remains distant from her father.

4. Eminem 

Eminem has been telling stories about his complicated life one award-winning rhyme at a time. One of his famous muses that inspired his many hits like “Cleanin’ Out My Closet” is his mother, Debbie.

But contrary to what you would’ve expected, the icon was rapping about his mom’s addiction and childhood maltreatment. His bashing lyrics tarnished their relationship badly which resulted in legal battles.

Conflict with families is normal and may make you feel a little crazy at times

So, they say when everything goes to hell; the people who’ll stand by your side without flinching will always be your family.

Family conflict is pretty normal. While it can be difficult to patch relationships, the act of trying to repair it is what matters.

Strengthen that family fabric, and work through the situations together. By listening, acknowledging mistakes and showing intention of wanting to fix the situation, that family love can be sustained.

Dealing with crazy family who don't get along

The Role of counselling and self care

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When you are dealing with your family that drives you crazy and you find it stressful, consider getting support from a professional. Talking to a counselor is a great way to work through a challenging situation, and help you find some strategies to work through the person’s behaviour.

Better Help is a great resource where you can talk to a counselor from the comfort of your own home.

Taking care of your own needs isn’t selfish, and you will feel better in the long run.

Be ready to respond to your crazy family

If you have to deal with difficult family members who give you a hard time, our book Snappy Comebacks any Situation can help you out. Be prepared for rude relatives with a clever response on your phone or device next time you have to see your family.

Check out what to say to toxic family members

Got any comments, questions or tips for dealing for dealing with crazy family members? Share them in the comments below.

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  1. I shouldn’t have read this in class. This is cracking me up! I am totally going to be using these when I get home to my crazy family!

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