There is no doubt that this particular Thanksgiving brings an extra helping of stress, namely, the post-election tension and concerns about how that may play out at the table. Below are a few tips to keep the peace and your cool:
- Establish ahead of time that politics are not on the menu. Around our table this year, we have established a “safe word” for when it feels like someone might start down the slippery slope that will take us to the battleground.
- If the political discussion is unstoppable, suggest leaving the strongly worded descriptors of any of the candidates and those that voted for them aside—stick to questions such as, “How do you think both sides can work together?” or “What positives do you hope to see going forward?”
- Right now, most political disagreements will be no-win conversations. However, you may still feel moved to stand up for what you believe in. The middle ground is to state that you’d like to agree to disagree and be prepared to repeat it a few times, to make it stick.
- Meditate and find your center before the gathering. Give your nervous system every chance to stay cool and calm(er).
- Or, try this: SNL Thanksgiving “Ad”
Debra LeClair Psy.D is a doctoral level psychologist and certified life coach, who helps people to find greater access to creative flow, career fulfillment and inner wisdom.