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

More From Marie Claire

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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