Thanksgiving is in just a few days so you might be stressing about the conflicts that often arise at family gatherings. However, minimizing holiday dinner family conflict can be easier than you imagine.
Set Ground Rules
If you are hosting the holidays this year feel free to set a few ground rules this year, such as taking hot button topics off the table like politics, religion, or past family conflicts. Kindly ask that for this one meal or day that we put these differences aside and focus on what we have in common instead.
Don’t Take The Bait
If you have a family member who pushes your buttons, you must recognize that pushing your buttons is their goal. While you can’t control how they behave you can control how you respond, so as difficult as it is—don’t take the bait.
If a conversation begins to get heated you can remove yourself from the conversation, or even the room. Some people enjoy the drama or find “debate” exhilarating. If that’s not you, don’t stick around for it, and take other uncomfortable family members with you. Even if you don’t physically leave you can start a second conversation in the same room.
Last but not least, own your role in family conflict and don’t engage in behavior that is likely to push other people’s buttons.