In the wake of what has been a cyclonic year for everyone, family dinners around the holidays will act, and have always acted, as a sort of yearly debrief. Where you run your extended family through your life and hear about their’s. And, of course, politics comes up. It’s never fun or constructive but this year is going to be the absolute worst.
Between Trump, Brexit and the subsequent legitimisation of bigotry, there will be a member of every family that leans so far right you’ll need to get them an extra chair so they don’t fall on the floor.
Technically, everyone is entitled to an opinion however, if your opinions actively contribute to a regime that endangers the most vulnerable in society – then we’re going to have a problem…
But the holidays aren’t the time to be raging about political issues. That’s why we have the internet. For all intents and purposes, the worldwide web is an amorphous, convulsing void for you to shout into. Holiday dinners should be better than this.
So this is our guide to surviving family meals without engaging in any dead-ended political discussions. Because let’s face it, when there’s three generations sitting at a table, no-one is going to leave the conversation with converted feelings.
Be Straight Up
You can just be honest with everyone. If you know for a fact, probably from Facebook, that there’s going to be coarse disagreements then just set the expectation before the meal.
“It has been a crazy year and I would like to ask that we not talk politics. We all have a lot to catch up and connect over”. As long as none of your family have an agenda, this shouldn’t be a hard request.
The Old Switcharoo
Let’s say you’ve got one member of the family that insists of brandishing their agenda instead of listening to other people, redirect the hell out of them.
Just fire loads of questions their way about their life. People love talking about themselves even more than they do talking about how Farage is poorly represented by the media…
Be The Politest Rude Person At The Table
Fine. If no-one is going to listen to the no politics rule, go hard with the passive-aggression. Straight-up start talking over people with inane chatter. Interrupt people at the peak of their Trump tirades. The way to stop political chatter is by taking all the wind from people’s sails. It’s petty but it’s effective.