Every family is unique. At the same time, the same types tend to come up again and again in each clan! When you think of your closest relatives, how many of the following character types do you recognize?
Every family needs at least one caretaker. This is the person who puts everyone else’s needs before their own and always wants to know how you are, how work is going, and whether you need any help during rough times. The caretaker brings you soup when you are sick, and is happy to listen to the story of your latest relationship drama.
Controllers always have an opinion and they like everything their way, from the dinner menu to the family’s vacation destination. They might be annoying on occasion, but they tend to be excellent planners too! A controller is in their element when given free rein to organize large family events.
All families have arguments from time to time, and this is where the peacemaker’s role comes in. They are the one who tactfully separates the two warring relatives, or makes just the right remark to lighten the mood. They dislike seeing family harmony broken, and believe it is better to be happy than to be right.
The Mess Maker
Some people just can’t help being really messy. Mess makers somehow manage to get into your living room, make themselves at home, and leave it a few hours later looking like a pile of rubbish. If you live with a mess maker, you have to accept early on that your home will never be spotless again. Unfortunately, they barely seem to realize what they are doing!
The Quiet One
Do you have a relative who never quite lets you know what they are thinking? Perhaps they like to keep their thoughts to themselves, or just feel shy in social settings. Occasionally, quiet relatives can let loose if you set them talking on a favorite subject or hot-button issue, but for the most part they remain reserved or even aloof.
It’s usually obvious who plays the role of family clown. This person is always joking around, and doesn’t mind making other people laugh, even if it’s at their own expense. They always have a funny story to tell and really excel at seeing even serious situations from a new, less intense angle. Clowns are often good at entertaining younger members of the family too.
The Sarcastic One
Some people never quite get over their teenage sarcasm phase, and drop snarky remarks into conversation every chance they get. This doesn’t always go down too well with the more polite or quieter members of the family. However, a wittily sarcastic relative can liven up any gathering. As long as there is a peacemaker or clown nearby, your most sarcastic relatives shouldn’t cause too much damage.
A connector knows everything about everyone. If you need any family news, they are the person to call. A classic connector is the aunt or grandmother who can spend hours on the phone talking about family gossip. They are also good at encouraging relatives to meet up, even if it’s been some time since the last gathering.
A loudspeaker never shuts up – or at least, it can feel that way! They tend to be opinionated, noisy, and want to make sure that everyone knows exactly what they think. Loudspeakers can become irritating, but they are often fun, extraverted people who know how to have a good time. In between voicing their own thoughts (regularly and with much noise), they tend to have a real interest in other people.
Who is your family chef? This type is always trying out new recipes, and pushing food on other people. If you are lucky, they are a great cook. If you aren’t, you’re in for years of trying to avoid their more “interesting” and “experimental” food combinations.
The Human Dustbin
Every family seems to have at least one person who is renowned for their eating abilities. It could be your sister who can put away six servings at dinner, or your uncle who is always clearing up leftovers from everyone else’s plates. They make sure they always do their part to reduce food waste.
The Lazy One
You know that cousin who will happily lie around all day on the sofa, occasionally getting up in search of food? It’s quite incredible just how happy certain relatives are to remain inert for hours at a time. No family would be complete without at least one member who is amazingly good at doing precisely nothing.