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Handling Hot Button Topics Over the Holidays

Happy Thanksgiving and Happy Holidays! It’s that time of year again! And, it's also that time of year when we sit down at the holiday table with family and friends to eat… and talk. All kinds of conversations can come up. Sometimes they’re hot button topics like politics, gun rights and abortion. Are you ready? Here are 7 tips I’ve put together, to help us all through it. Wishing you every blessing and a wonderful Thanksgiving!

  1. Get Clear. If you’re the one bringing up the issue, get clear about why you need to broach this particular topic. What do you need to get out of it?

  2. Peace. Next, form an intention for peace between the two of you. No matter what the other party says you will refrain from reacting in any way that isn’t thoughtful and mindful.

  3. Be curious. It is better to be curious about why someone thinks the way they do, as opposed to making them wrong for thinking it. When people feel like they’re seen as ‘wrong’, they tend to build defensiveness which can manifest as conflict between you.

  4. Healthy language. Refrain from using sarcasm, caustic tones, condescension… you get the idea. They drive people apart. If this becomes difficult and you feel that you’re about to say something you might regret, try staying silent for awhile and simply listening to understand. Only respond when you’ve thought about a healthy way to share your thoughts and not a moment before. Be respectful at all costs.

  5. Assess the moment. How much does this relationship mean to you? Are you willing to harm or lose this relationship over this hot button topic?

  6. Remember Your Intention. Feel free to harken back to your intention during this conversation to keep you grounded. Is your intention merely to understand the other person’s views? Are you concerned about how their point-of-view will affect the two of you? And so on.

  7. Breathe. Relaxing breaths really do help when you need to gauge your emotions. You can get through this hot topic peacefully as long as your heart and head work together.

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