Besides, the Turkey, stuffing and mashed potatoes, lively conversation should be an essential item on your Thanksgiving menu. Otherwise, you might as well eat alone. But this year, as your making your grocery list, why don’t you also make a conversation topic list to keep things flowing smoothly without any angry outbursts. In today’s political climate, dinner doesn’t need to have a side dish of outbursts or anger when it can so easily be avoided. At a time when the world seems to be torn into shreds, find topics that will bring your table together.
Need some ideas? Talk about what you’re thankful for. Talk about the weather. Talk about your next vacation. Talk about the football season… anything but politics, money or religion. Those are hot buttons you want to avoid. And if they do come up, (and they will,) here are three ways to keep your meal from turning into a food fight:
Don’t get in the ring. Anyone can pick a fight, but if you refuse to participate, the argument will never happen. Speak softly and do what you can to change the subject.
Remember it’s Thanksgiving. Try to find gratitude for something in the person whose neck you want to ring. It’s ok to say you may never agree with the other person but let them know you respect their opinion. The goal is to be mindful of others, considerate of their feelings and respectful of differing views without taking anything personal. There’s no shouting, no bolting from the table.Just say something nice about the food. You can’t go wrong when you compliment the host.
Be interested. People don’t want to feel ignored, judged or chastised. They want to feel heard. They just want you to listen and not interrupt. Give people eye contact when you speak to them. Talk to the people on either side of you and let them know you’re happy they’re there for the holiday.
And no matter what you talk about, don’t talk with your mouth full.