Let's face this big fat beautiful truth. Everyone has a bunch of long lost relatives who always judge you maybe ten times more than the English teacher back in school - the one who always marked your essays based on your unruly behaviour in class.
These relatives will judge you for the way you walk, the way you dress, the way you talk, basically anything and everything even the way you carry a glass of water to guests. If you want to escape their clutches my suggestion would be to run in the opposite direction if you get the slightest hint that they are around even if running in the opposite direction lands you in a goblet of fire. However if you seem trapped there is only one thing you can do. Ignore. Ignore. Ignore.
There are always those aunts who will feign concern over your marriage prospects and career opportunities and then reach the conclusion that you will stumble in both fields. Why? Because the last time they took a fleeting look at you they only noticed that you were too lazy to carry the tray of appetisers to the guests and help your grandma in the kitchen.
According to them your inability to do such tasks automatically translates in to the presumption that you are so dumb that you will be unable to handle responsibilities as big as preparing a presentation in office or impressing your in-laws for all that matter.
Then there are the ones who incessantly judge you based on the way you behave in social gatherings. In a family 'dawaat' if you are not jumping like a kangaroo or flitting like a butterfly from one place to another, with enthusiasm oozing from your foundation while you make loud conversation with your long lost relatives who came from foreign countries, they will deem you as an unsocial creature who is frustrated with life in general and hence suffer from acute depression.
Did they acquire a Masters in Psychology that they misinterpret your reserved attitude as an alarming sign of depression? These people act as if sitting quietly or talking only to your brother or the cousin you only know properly is akin to committing a crime against humanity. Then again there are the ones who, when your mother will say how badly you yearn to go abroad, will gently advise her not to let you go abroad because you are unfit for living in America thanks to your lack of socialising skills. After all living abroad is all about attending 'dawaats' and socialising like Paris Hilton. Right?
It's natural for an individual to be expressive and bubbly in front of friends, but shy in the presence of family. This is because we often see our relatives once in a while which generates a sense of awkwardness and sometimes an 'out of touch feeling' which in turn makes it difficult for us to interact with them as openly as we do with our friends and siblings.
Moreover just because you don't conduct yourself in a manner that should suit other people's sensibilities doesn't mean that you are dumb or lazy or that you are a schizophrenic in dire need of therapy or that you hate your life. Whatever the reasons are-we folks need to stop judging.