American Thanksgiving 2020 is only a couple of weeks away. There are so many events that have happened this year that should lead to being extra thankful at the dinner table, but when you get family together who have differing views it’s easy for gratitude to be overpowered by heated arguments.
“A hot-tempered person stirs up conflict, but the one who is patient calms a quarrel.”Proverbs 15:18
If you know that a family Thanksgiving gathering is going to lead to heated arguments, fights, and emotional wounds that may never heal; it’s alright to say no to an invite. A holiday gathering is no longer meaningful if it becomes an uncomfortable afternoon of attacks and arguments.
If you choose to attend a family Thanksgiving dinner knowing it will become a very tense environment here are a few ideas to help you deal with those you have strong differing views with.
1. Let relatives know that you are aren’t going to discuss politics. They are free to discuss and argue, but let them know you won’t be participating.
2. Don’t initiate any discuss about politics. Even if you are the type of person to keep the conversation civil and neutral, others might not be able to do so.
3. If you are travelling to spend time with family, limit the number of days you spend with them. You don’t need to spend your entire holidays from work with them. Maybe 2 days is better for you than 4 days.
4. You can’t pick your family, but you can pick your battles. Holiday get togethers aren’t the time or place to be trying to change someone’s mind. Some people will go to their graves holding on to their beliefs no matter how harmful they are.
5. Find family activities that don’t involve a lot of talking. Board games, card games, video, etc. allow family to interact with each other while having fun.
6. Find out if there are any inhouse rules they might have regarding COVID19. If they ask you to wear a mask, do so. If they don’t believe in wearing masks and think COVID19 is just a flu, you’ll have to decide whether or not you want to take the risk.
However you spend your Thanksgiving holidays and whom ever you spend it with, do your best not to get into emotionally driven arguments. No one enjoys themselves when this happens. We all want to make the world we live in a more justice filled place, but arguing at dinner, trying to prove a point, and working to change someone’s point of view has never changed the world for the better.
“Don’t have anything to do with foolish and stupid arguments, because you know they produce quarrels. And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful.”2 Timothy 2:23-24