Politics and family. Oy! Talk about a challenging combination. Especially with this year’s election, families may be primed to talk about this hot-button topic. If you anticipate your family bringing up politics, here are some suggestions on how to dodge that bullet this holiday season.
1. If you feel comfortable approaching your family about this before the holidays, you can request to keep this topic off the table. Consider writing an email that says something like: “Hi, family! In celebration of Thanksgiving (or any holiday), let’s table talking politics for the day.” Get everyone to agree, and suggest that if anyone slips up, you will all give them a gentle reminder of the agreement.
2. Changing the conversation can also be a helpful strategy. Try to aim for topics that are fairly benign and relatively easy to engage in. Asking about vacations, fun plans coming up, plans for New Years, or any good books or shows they can recommend are all topics that might hold interest and give room to expand on with follow-up questions.
3. And when all else fails? Remember to take mini breaks. If you need ideas for what mini breaks might work for you, or if you want to develop other skills that could help you avoid stress this holiday season, check out our Progress Wellness newsletter.