What is it about Thanksgiving that brings out the crazy in families?
Each year you can be sure to find advice on how to survive dinner with the family and this year is no different (hence this story). But in addition to dealing with the standard family dysfunction — the aunt who asks when you’re getting married or having kids, the in-law who gets drunk, the younger sibling who begs for money — you may also find yourself having to navigate conversations about this year’s dysfunctional presidential election.
“Every family and circle of friends has members who believe differently than we do. There is always the quirky uncle or aunt or someone who makes the conversation less than pleasant,” said Dr. Pete Sulack, stress expert and founder of StressRX.com
With Thanksgiving just two weeks away, here are a few tips from Dr. Sulack on what to do if the topic of conversation turns to politics:
Ignore it: You can always pretend that you don’t hear anything being said around you. Ask the relative/friend to your left to pass the green bean casserole and just keep chewing.
Engage: This is a strategy for the strong-willed, but one that rarely ends well, said Dr. Sulack. If we’ve learned anything from the 2016 presidential campaign, it’s that even the individuals seeking the highest office in the land can’t always engage one another in a civil manner.
Give grace: If you really understand the meaning of Thanksgiving and if you are really capable of doing so, try giving grace to those around you. “Understand that people have different opinions and values,” said Dr. Sulack, “We may disagree, but we can entertain it.”