Thanksgiving is supposed to be a really awesome time to gather with friends, right? Until the dreaded subject of politics comes up. If you're not careful, a divided country can create a divided table. So what's a family to do? Well, here's a big o'l heap of common sense to go with that turkey.
Omri Gillath is a psychology professor at the University of Kansas, whose research focuses on close relationships. (I can't wait for him to meet the Jayhawks' new football coach, Les Miles!) Anyway, this guy seems like he gets it.
"Each family is different," he told told Fox News. IF “you have previous experience and know it doesn't go well, keep it off the table." AND if you're not quite sure HOW it will go, just make the rule (up front) to everyone who enters. As Gillath puts it, "You’re all here to enjoy the holiday, so let’s not talk politics." For families that can handle the more polarizing discussions, he offers some of his simple rules to consider:
Remember who you’re talking to...
Gillath says, "you’re not a politician representing a certain party. Avoid what our representatives are doing and be nice to each other." Take the high road.
Instead of entering attack mode when you might be inclined to finger-point, a better position might be to say something based on the other person's feeling toward you personally. Gillath suggested family members “help each other understand — be specific in your argument — ‘I feel x when you’re saying y.’"
Make someone the mediator
It's like having an impartial master of ceremonies steering the discussion. This person can keep even the most spirited debates within bounds. Gillath even suggests the mediator utilize a rubber ball; allowing the person holding the ball to speak freely without interruption. (Especially if adult beverages are being served.)
Avoiding politics isn’t always good
If you know that your gathering will not get too belligerent over the topic(s), Gillath said talking politics can be important. "We do need to try to open as many lines of communication as we can between the two sides. Even if you know your relatives don't align with you, we need to talk to each other and people need the opportunity to talk about their concerns and worries,” he said. It's one way how families can actually create stronger bonds with differing views.
CREDIT: FOX NEWS Click here for more.