“Wow, age hasn’t been kind to you.”

Age is a highly sensitive topic that is almost taboo unless you’re 12 and younger. If, like me, you only see your relatives once a year, then many would seem very much older the next time you lay eyes on them. Nevertheless, that does not give you the license to talk about how much they’ve aged. You may however, look surprise and nod sympathetically. Or you may direct them to this article.

Anything to do with relationships, marriage and baby-popping.

If you haven’t moved on from these topics that have been the subject of CNY memes and “how to survive an awkward CNY” articles for years, then it’s time to do so. It’s 2017, folks. Because you don’t want to be that auntie. Niece has a new beau? She doesn’t need you to tell her this one’s better than the last one.

“So, what do you do?”

Now, this question would seem innocuous, but not when you ask it every single year and not when you know your relative is unemployed. It would seem like you haven’t been paying attention last year or that you’re just plain rude. It’s best to go with a general, “Hope everything is going well for you.”

“You seem to have put on a bit of weight, eh?”

See section on age.

Inauspicious predictions

Keep your psychic aspirations to yourself and don’t rain on someone’s parade e.g. “Huh, you want to go into business? Difficult in Singapore la.”

Commentaries on dressing

As a devout reader of Her World Plus, you’ve armed yourself with enough fashion advice and beauty tips to last a lifetime. But a CNY visit isn’t the best time to dispense them. Instead, judge them silently.