Whether our family life is gloriously ideal or quietly chaotic, we all need to carve out a space of our own. Family gatherings—not to mention families in general—can be energetic and emotional, often prompting us to sacrifice the sense of self we usually fiercely protect for the greater good. While enthusiastic participation and personal downtime might seem at odds, interweaving the two can create a much more effective way of engaging with our loved ones. Even the most altruistic of humans can become flat-out exhausted by the social nature of family life. During childhood we’re taught to be independent individuals, yet adult family time often stirs an oddly paradoxical expectation to share everything. “Even prison gives you some personal space, so why not family?” a friend once quipped. We probably never spent this much time together when we lived under the same roof—and loyalty should not require us to quell our independence and spend This story is from Kinfolk Issue Seventeen Buy Now Related Stories Arts & Culture Issue 19 Going Incognito We all secretly wonder what mischief we’d make if invisible: When our identity is hidden, everything seems possible. Arts & Culture Issue 19 The Best Policy Sometimes we talk to each other without feeling heard. Honesty—a most intimate interaction—can be just as thrilling as its more devious inverse. Arts & Culture Issue 19 A Sense of Suspense With unhinged imaginations and mountains of cliff-hangers, the filmmakers behind the sci-fi podcast Limetown have all the makings of a scary story.