Thursday, October 24, 2013

How to Avoid a Family Feud This Thanksgiving

No doubt about it –– if you and your relatives swap opinions on politically hot buttons issues like ObamaCare, the recent government shutdown, the Tea Party, or the Edward Snowden NSA files, chances are, there’s going to be some fireworks around the dinner table this Thanksgiving. Sure most people have their opinions, but if their comments are caustic, a happy family event can quickly turn into a family feud.

Here are 3 things you can do if an argumentative relative tries to pick a political fight with you at the Thanksgiving dinner table.  

1. Don’t react. Do nothing. Say nothing. Keep your face absolutely blank. This infuriates people whose goal is to get you into an argument so they can vent their anger and try to prove to everyone around the table that your opinions, the people, and the programs you support are completely wrong.

2. After a moment or two of silence, give the person your best-befuddled look as you shift your gaze upwards and shake your head from side to side. This body language says, “I have no idea what you’re talking about.” This will drive them to distraction since they can’t fight with you if you don’t respond to their arguments.

3. Finally, let a sly smile spread over your face as you say, “Of course, it’s a free country so we are all entitled to our views, but the Thanksgiving dinner table is not the place to share them.” Then it’s up to you to change the topic to something unrelated to politics. Exasperated and a bit frustrated, the cantankerous relative will probably try to pick a fight with someone else at the table. What a turkey! 

Visit Don's new website and get a free download, "What's Your Networking Style?"