I know a lot of us are getting ready to see some relatives for the holiday, albeit under very different circumstances than normal. Right now, it is on a lot of people’s minds: How are we going to structure the day in a way that makes it safe for everyone? For those of you who are not accustomed to having ideological differences with your extended family, I’m your gal! I have a lifetime’s worth of experience negotiating conversations just like this one.

Here are a few DO’S and DONT’S
  1. Do NOT bring politics into the conversation. We don’t want this to be a broad conversation. Rather, the discussion about Thanksgiving day should be very narrowly focused.
  1. DO show softness in your approach, while telling them what your stated desired outcome is. For example: “I would love for none of us to accidentally transmit the virus to each other, so that we can all walk away healthy.” That is a lovely thing to say, and it gives you an end goal in mind to work towards.
  1. DO make requests (NOT demands). I’ll teach you a little therapist trick. If you say something as a question, it’s often more palatable for the other person. Instead of saying “I want us to eat outside”, you can say “What would you think of us eating outside?” This makes it a bit easier for them to digest.

Regardless of what you have planned, stay safe everyone. Happy Thanksgiving!


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