Tips for navigating sensitive conversation topics during the holiday season

Published: Nov. 24, 2020 at 5:23 PM EST
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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - Holidays are a great time to catch up with family and friends. It can also be a time for clashing views on an increasingly polarized political climate, and other heated topics that can get out of hand at the dinner table.

Family therapist Christine Bowers with Skyline Family Therapy says there are a few things you can do to avoid the confrontations:

  • Plan ahead and talk to family members about topics to be kept off the table.
  • Be assertive when a topic makes you uncomfortable and changing the subject.
  • Avoiding alcohol can help keep the mood courteous.

It’s also important to show children to be able to disagree and stay civil.

“You are the best model for your children. And so if you can model grown up, adult, calm conversations for your children that’s how they learn these things and you can be the best teacher for them by by showing them that people can agree to disagree and move on and it’s okay,” Bowers said.

Bowers says its also OK to take a break when conversations become heated and leave the conversation to allow for cooler heads to prevail.

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