Life coach offers tips to avoid uncomfortable Thanksgiving dinner conversations

State News

COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Some of us dread family gatherings, especially around the holidays because, inevitably, someone starts talking about something controversial.

There are some options that could make your Thanksgiving dinner a little easier to digest if the discussion turns political at the table.

Everyone has an opinion and some people love to share it, even if you don’t want to hear it.

How do you deal with that when it’s family.

Regan Walsh, a personal life coach, has some tips on how to survive the holidays when that happens.

When it comes to family gatherings and politics, things can get heated and feelings hurt and it’s not just between conservatives and liberals. Even discussions involving a single political party can turn sour quickly. So how do you avoid this?

“It’s really important to show up with intention,” Walsh said. “How do I want to experience this holiday; no matter what happens, how do I want to experience it? Do I want to leave here feeling gratitude and feeling a sense of calm or do I want to leave heated up, on fire and angry at my family?”

She said that means political discussion is not off the table this holiday.

“I think it can be very healthy, I think through discussion, not through arguments, but through discussion and healthy debate, great things can come from that,” Walsh said.

Succeeding at that means knowing how you’re going to negotiate your viewpoint in order to make it clear to the other person.

“You’re not going to be very effective if you’re angry and you’re yelling, and so knowing what it is that you believe in, being able to deliver the points that matter most to you, that’s how we can create change within our country,” Walsh said.

However, Walsh said, if you find yourself in a situation that doesn’t fit your moral values or is damaging to you, you should remove yourself from that situation.

Below are additional tips to help you weather the storm at the Thanksgiving dinner table:

Discuss, don’t argue

Set your expectations

Where to have a political discussion.

Go in prepared

What to do when you make a mistake

Dealing with the “wrecking ball” relative

When the wrecking ball keeps swinging

Shift the mood, distract, and pivot

When it all goes wrong

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