How to Get Your Family Off Your Case

Sidestep awkward conversation with this small-talk cheat sheet.

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By Eileen Conlan and Lizzie Dunlap

You Were Laid Off

Four ways to head off "taking initiative" lectures.

- "Mom, can I borrow the computer? I need to log on to LinkedIn."

- "It's OK to bring my résumé to the Johnson's party, right?"

- "I need some alone time — to prepare for phone interviews."

- Bring your briefcase home — they don't need to know it's stashed with old issues of MC.

You Just Broke Up

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Five white lies about the split to make them stop asking.

- "Blame it on Sex and the City, Grandpa."

- "He said he was intimidated by my professional success — it made me realize I need someone more focused."

- "Can we talk about this later? I have a date tonight."

- "Yes, Nana, I do want kids… Yes, you will know them."

- "I couldn't date a guy who hates your cooking, Mom."

You're Not Ready for a Baby

What to do when everyone's saying it's your turn.

- Hiding the pill: "What, this? It's a breath mint." …from my gynecologist.

- "I just love sushi and cold cuts too much. And I've got a cat. And white furniture."

- "I'm ovulating." Now they really won't bother you and the hubby when you just want to nap.

- "I'm going to concentrate on being the best aunt I can be first."

- "Didn't you hear about the 67-year old woman who had twins last week?"

- "I could never be as good of a mom as you are."


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