An associate professor at Perdue told CNN she “would have a hard time” at Thanksgiving dinner talking to a relative who voted for Donald Trump. However, Roxane Gay also said she could speak to her brother, a Republican, because he voted for Hillary Clinton.
Although you might think that Gay is another closed-minded educator not wanting to hear opposing points of view, she does inform us about the wisdom of avoiding political discussion at Thanksgiving dinner. And if you’re a person who just loves talking politics, put a sock in it—just for today.
You might try preventing dinnertime conversation from straying into politics by sticking to the small talk. That means not to bring up a topic that can cause division.
But what do you do if, despite your efforts at peacekeeping, the turkey sitting across the table starts talking politics? You don’t have to bite. You can respond by telling the political turkey, “You’re entitled to your opinion and I’m here to enjoy this delicious meal and fellowship.” You can also change the topic and talk about black Friday or shopping for the Holiday’s
If the partisan persists in making with the gobble gobble, you can’t very well take off your shoe, bang it on the table and say, “Shut up with the politics already.” However, you can gently tap a fork on your wine or water glass a few times and say, “let’s give politics a rest and talk about how grateful we all are to be together.” Others at the table will appreciate your effort.
After all, if President Obama can pardon two turkeys, you can reprieve political discussions—just for Thanksgiving,
Because Thanksgiving is about giving gratitude, try to think of something that you can be grateful for. Chew on that. You’ll enjoy your Thanksgiving dinner a heck of a more. And your digestion will also be helped.
You might also enjoy reading Dealing With Difficult People, a related article on Your Career Service.
RANDY PLACE is the author of Your One-Minute Job Finding Coach.