Hipsters Grilling at a Summer Backyard BBQ

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Summer cookouts are one of the best ways to get great grub and the most popular means of socializing— but they can also be the cause of a lot of angst. It’s all about the guest list: especially if your friend is the type to send an invite to every single person he’s friends with on Facebook. You can’t always control who shows up— but you can control how you deal.

Your goal is simple: Don’t get caught up in the B.S. that inevitably serves as the plus one for those relatives and friends.

Here are some quick tactics to ensure you successfully swerve the ones who get on your nerves the most at the cookout.

1.THE BULLY

It doesn’t matter how old you are, but you’ll always encounter that one individual who always think s/he can oppress you and your friends. Whether or not you can actually kick this person’s ass is irrelevant. S/he is getting off from the high of perceived power and the need to feel superior in the eyes of others. If the antics are in good fun, laugh them off and keep things moving— there’s no need to create a scene over someone else’s immature behavior. Bonus points: If you’re sober and this guy/gal comes for you, shut it down with an aggressive verbal comeback.

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2. THE UNSOLICITED ADVICE GIVER

Every time you run into this person, s/he is super passionate about helping you live your best life—even if you didn’t ask for help. The good thing is that this individual typically has the best intentions and pretty savvy counsel. You have two choices here. You can keep things simple by sharing only superficial information, or get a drink, pull up a chair and enjoy the free life coaching session. It’s up to you.

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3.The SHOW OFF

Stuntin’ is a habit here, so don’t waste your time being frustrated, jealous or even underwhelmed. A better course of action is enjoying the perks of this egotistical loved one’s manic behavior—free drinks, VIP access and additional bodies.

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4. THE INAPPROPRIATE TOUCHER

This individual may not process spacial boundaries and context clues, OR intentionally ignores them to capitalize on the politeness of others. No one has the right to make you feel uncomfortable, so calling them out in the moment is the best way to ensure the behavior stays on pause.

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5.THE GOSSIP

Don’t think just because this person isn’t talking to you that s/he is not paying attention. Your nosey loved (or tolerated) ones are masterful at paying attention to the details: who you’re with (or not with), what you’re wearing, and how you’re spending your money. Even if you haven’t seen them since the last BBQ, they’ve been deducing things from your social media page the entire time. Your utter silence (READ: STFU) is the only way to ensure your privacy.

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