It’s that time of year again– families gather together under one roof, turkeys baste and, inevitably, political arguments ensue.
So how does one avoid this seemingly unavoidable reality of family holidays?
Compiled below is a step by step guide on how to avoid estranging yourself from your loved ones.
Step 1: Mentally prepare yourself. Acknowledge that your family, while wonderful, has differing opinions and perspectives. Keep this in mind while gathering together and understand that you will most likely change absolutely no one’s mind if an argument begins.
Step 2: Arm yourself with the facts. Do you know that Uncle Bob is going to bring up healthcare no matter what? If you must engage, make sure your phone is charged so you can fact check with a quick Google search in a moment’s notice. Facts are facts and will be more likely to keep you from becoming emotionally passionate.
Step 3: Have a shortlist of alternate discussion topics should an argument get out of hand. Random topics like the current Kardashian drama or the biology of a cow will do if in a tight spot. However, to ensure a fully transitional and lasting topic change, personalize the topic to the person you are trying to divert. Ask Aunt Sue about her most recent job promotion or engage Cousin Joe in a conversation about his fantasy league.
Step 4: Sit at the kids’ table. While graduating from this famed table was a milestone in your young life, you might find yourself retreating to the table of preteens and toddlers to find reprieve from politics. Spend time with your younger family members and play with them. You will quickly become the coolest cousin. Another plus is that all of the members of this table are most definitely not of voting age, so they cannot remind you who they voted for over and over again.
Step 5: If nothing else will suffice, grin and bear it. Let your eyes glaze over and find a mental happy place. Maybe it’s the beach from spring break or curled up by a fire with a book. Retreat there until the conversation ends.
Step 6: Can’t handle being cooped up in the house with your 40 relatives and their political views? Take your frustration out with a classic game of Thanksgiving football. Nothing says family love like tackling your family members to the ground.
Step 7: Accept your fate. Regardless of how different your opinions may be, family is still family, and it’s Thanksgiving after all. You know what they say– blood runs thicker than water. No matter what, you will have many more awkward and frustrating Thanksgiving encounters in the years to come. So try to put your differences aside and enjoy the time spent with your loved ones.
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