Other awkward enquiries include “Have you got a partner yet?”, “when are you getting married” and “when are you going to get on the housing ladder?”. It also emerged three in 10 adults want to avoid discussing finances and one in five do not want to talk about their current love life or religion. Another two in five are anticipating being asked about their personal life. The study, commissioned by Hasbro Gaming, found that in order to avoid uncomfortable conversations many have employed tactics such as faking a phone call or hiding in the lavatory.
Watching TV, escaping to another room and playing board games are also among the ways Brits will distract relatives from conversation.
Kay Green, from Hasbro Inc., said: “With distant family visiting at Christmas, it’s inevitable there’s going to be small talk and personal questions about your job or love life.
“We want to encourage Brits to fend off the festive FAQs (Family Asked Questions) this Christmas by playing one of our well-loved, classic games such as Monopoly, Cluedo or Jenga.
“We know that people are passionate about playing games and that gaming brings families together for fun, meaningful, quality time.
“It’s also a really handy technique to divert the attention away from any awkward small talk moments.”
The research also found in-laws are the relatives most want to avoid over the Christmas period, followed by siblings and cousins.
Almost a third even admitted to having cancelled on a family event to evade awkward conversations.
Similarly, a sixth said their in-laws are the most likely to interrogate them over the festive period, as are child relations and grandparents.
A fifth even said conversing with distant relatives over Christmas is “pointless” but one in sixth believe it helps “break the ice”.
More than a quarter said they feel “awkward” about seeing acquaintances or relatives who they don’t know very well over the holidays and one in five feel “unprepared” and “anxious”.
And 23 percent admitted one of their least loved things about spending Christmas with family is “small talk” while a sixth feel the same about “boring conversation”.
However, two in five said having fun with family is one of their favourite aspects of the big day and a quarter enjoys playing games with relatives.
Over half of respondents polled via OnePoll, said playing a game with relatives is one of the easiest ways to break the ice during a get-together and 70 percent find it helps them connect.
And despite modern entertainment, three in five would rather play a board game during the Christmas period than browse on their tablet, laptop or smartphone.
Most feared questions over christmas:
1. Have you put on weight?
2. What’s your new year’s resolution?
3. Who are you going to vote for in the next election?
4. Is marriage/engagement on the cards?
5. Have you got a job yet?
6. When are you going to have children?
7. Have you got a boyfriend/girlfriend?
8. Don’t you want another child?
9. Have you lost weight?
10. Have you seen the latest Christmas ads?