Surviving the Holiday Political Discussions
If you want to have a Happy Thanksgiving & Christmas holidays it’s probably the best choice NOT to discuss politics unless everyone holds the same views. There are in fact, healthy times to avoid conflict, even though in most cases, it is best to talk things through and try to come to some agreement. However, when values are involved, it can become a minefield and people become very positional very quickly.
The next best choice is to hire a professional family mediator or invite one to dinner!
If someone insists on talking ABOUT THE ELECTION, just ask if you can say something like this before the discussion gets going or print these and hand them out!
I’d like to make ground rules to keep the discussion safe for those who are talking as well as anyone listening–especially the kids who are present. I’d like to ask if we can all agree to the following:
- IF we discuss politics, we can start w the premise that both candidates were very flawed and we will not assume that any of us holds ALL the same values as the person we finally selected as our candidate or sit in judgement of one another.
- We will display respect of one another’s opinions and feelings or agree not to discuss politics if we can’t.
- We agree to stop the conversation if anyone asks for it to stop.
- We will listen with curiosity and try to understand one another’s needs and values which led to our selection of a candidate, and even validate that view if we can do so w/o sounding as if we condemn each other, for example: “I can see how that is very important to you, can I tell you what was important to me in this election and why?”
- We will not interrupt or denigrate each other for our choice of candidate.
- We are free to speak for ourselves and the reasons we could not choose to vote for the other candidate, but will not make those who did choose another candidate feel foolish for doing so. For example, rather than saying, “How on earth could you vote for someone who (fill in the blank). We can say, w/o judgement of others in our tone, “In the end, I just could not bring myself to vote for someone who (fill in the blank).”
- Agree that we have the best country in the world, where everyone can support their choice for leader and have a peaceful transition of power.
- If you were a Trump supporter, ask people to please support his Presidency with prayer, just as those who opposed President Obama did when he was elected twice.
If you’re lucky, no one in your family will want to discuss politics at Thanksgiving or Christmas, you’ll have a nice meal and everyone will fall asleep watching football!
Have a blessed day and Christmas Holiday Season!