Ah, parents—sometimes we love ’em, sometimes we hate can’t stand ’em, and other times we’re left scratching our heads wondering what they’re thinking!

Traditionally, mom and dad are supposed to be our greatest allies. They’re meant to represent us in the best light and always have our backs. But, unfortunately, as life would have it, we often get stuck with ‘rents who get a rise out of embarrassing us. Sometimes it’s endearing and truly out of the goodness of their heart (ie. “Wanna see Jenny’s adorable baby pics?”) and other times it’s just plain inappropriate and immature (ie. “Jenny used to pee her bed when she was in sixth grade.”)—but regardless of the nature, it’s uncomfortable.

Dealing with a little situation of your own? Keep reading for what to do if your parents always embarrass you in front of your friends.

1. Have a Respectful Conversation With Your Embarrassing Parent

First and foremost, plan a mature, civilized pow-wow with your parent. For all you know, they may not realize just how much their behavior affects you. Explain to them that some things should stay between family and that it’s challenging to make a good impression on new friends when you feel like you have to make excuses for your parent’s comments.

It’s also important to point out the nature of your relationships. Are the friends you bring home potential people you may date? Are they super uptight and not used to your parents’ humor? Are they more study-buddies than actual pals? If you explain the nature of your relationships to your parents, they’ll hopefully understand why you may feel uncomfortable amid some of their actions. Most importantly, express that it plainly and simply makes you feel uneasy when they act a certain way, and that out of respect for you, they need to ease up a bit.


(Mean Girls via Paramount Pictures)


2. Give Your Friends Prior Warning and Insight Into What Triggers Your Parents’ Actions

A good heads-up never hurt anyone. TBH, every family has its bizarre quirks. You may think you have the weirdest family in town, but trust us, there’s always stranger. Before going to your house, let your pal know that some of your parents’ actions can raise eyebrows but that you’re well aware it’s a bit odd, and it’s no reflection on you.

Even better, explain why your parents feel compelled to act a certain way. Maybe you’re an only child and they’re obsessed with every little thing you do. Maybe you live with a single parent who feels like you’re more of a buddy than their child. Maybe your parents were raised in a toxic household and have always acted questionably. Whatever the case, providing some explanation will help soften the blow.

Unsplash: Two young women talking and having a conversation

(via Unsplash)


3. Get Your Friends in on the Joke

If your friends are pretty laid-back, you can make it so they’re laughing with you, not at you. If your mom tells the exact same embarrassing story every time you introduce her to someone new, place bets on how long ’til she dives on in, or what she’ll use to segue into the story. If she wears the most ridiculous outfits, compare her style to a celeb and jokingly say you think she’s trying to be her. If you go into the situation in a lighthearted manner, your pal will likely stick to the same vibe.

Aria's parents getting remarried on Pretty Little Liars

(Pretty Little Liars via Freeform)


4. Brush Off Any Weirdness and Exit Situations Swiftly

If a parent puts you in an uncomfortable situation in front of a friend, don’t cause a scene. Making a whole dramatic to-do out of it is almost like trying to combat a school bully. There’s just no point. It will only lead to more chaos and back-and-forth. Instead, either laugh it off, say “Okay, mom” or confidently embrace the topic with a chuckle and move on: “We’ve all had our mishaps, haven’t we?”

Once it’s gone down, find a way to casually exit the room. Explain you have to study or that you have to make a phone call. Whatever you need to do, get away from the situation and beforehand, encourage your pal to (respectfully) follow suit.

Alice and Betty at Pop's on Riverdale

(Riverdale via The CW)


5. Avoid Bringing New Friends Home

If all else fails, then you may have to limit your friend visits. It’s totally unfair to you, we know, but if you feel like your relationships are at risk because of a parent’s behavior, you don’t want to sabotage it off the bat. Once you feel more secure in your friendship (or you realize your friend has embarrassing parents as well), you may want to slowly incorporate the friend into your home life. In the meantime, plan activities at other houses or even at parks, malls, movie theaters or other public places.

Mean Girls shopping

(Mean Girls via Paramount Pictures)


Now that you know how to deal with an embarrassing family member, HERE’s how to deal with an embarrassing friend!