TODAY

TODAY   |  November 06, 2013

How to deal with those awkward family questions

If you’re dreading those awkward family conversations, you’re not alone. Psychiatrist Ish Major and clinical psychologist Jennifer Hartstein talk about why families can create issues that we don’t have with co-workers and friends, and what to do with their questions.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> whether it's a fight with your spouse over the toilet seat or gritting your teeth when your in-laws criticize your parenting style , family dynamic can be challenging.

>> so we wanted to offer up some advice your o guests. good morning to both of you.

>> good morning.

>> we actually posted -- we asked for viewers o to weigh in on our website. take a look at the survey results to seat most annoying habits are, what drives us nuts. so first one being is what is the most annoying habit your spouse has? dirty dishes. top of the list. 49%. computer use , 23%. left over toe nail clips, 13%.

>> we were just talking before. we all agree on the dirty dishes.

>> very annoying.

>> or not unloading the dishwasher. you both weigh in here. these are certainly topics that we all relate to.

>> absolutely. as you were talking about, dirty dishes, the someone that idea may come along and do it. no, there is not. it is being responsible in your own house. we were talking before. i think it is just mess in general. there is this idea of who is going to pick up after themselves and as spouses, you want to be a team. work together. you want to feel that is happening.

>> exactly. also the kitchen is the hub of the house. and so an untidy kitchen, untidy household. it gets to your core.

>> what can we do to resolve that besides nag, nag, nag, which doesn't seem to work at my house.

>> reach out and relate. guys, we don't think it's a big deal . honey this is why it's a big deal . then share the responsibility. a lot of couples final doing it together is easier.

>> and say thank you. the key is, i know for us when it became an argument, i did it and then you don't recognize that i did it. it was a big deal because finally did it. so a little thank you get a long way.

>> emptying the dish wash for a guy goes a long way.

>> passive- aggressive behavior doesn't help when you put the dirty dish and put them in front of them over and over again?

>> no. deep issues there.

>> next question. what do you argue with your sibling about? let's see what our viewers said. childhood scars, 47%. dividing parents time, 24%. caring for aging parents, 23%, disciplining kids, 6%.

>> well, you know, i think the fact is that when we go back in time -- we go back and n. time when we're with our siblings. and so the old things that might still be held on to you are going to impact how we relate now. when you go home to your parents house, you go back to the roles with your siblings. you have to sit down and talk about them as adults with respect. make it happen.

>> let's look at one more question in our remaining seconds. this is what causes conflict with your in-laws? this one is a lot of people deal with. passive- aggressive behavior , 58%. the clubhouse leader there.

>> it is. and it's a big thing with in-laws, they still want to be useful. you have to find a way to make them part of the team. let the child of the inlaw lead the charge. show a united front . they're still significant.

>> we have to leave it there. thank you both. back in a moment.

>> kathie lee is pro beard.

>> i'm liking it.

>> where do you come down?

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>> i've been told not to answer that.

>> we'll be up late we are some stuff.

>> local news and weather coming up.