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Thanksgiving is all about community, a time to gather with our loved ones and focus on the power of gratitude and togetherness. But, for many, the Thanksgiving dinner table is also a sensitive arena where diverse perspectives and opposing opinions meet.
In a time when more than half of Americans report feeling “stressed and frustrated” while having political conversations with people who disagree, this Thanksgiving holiday offers an important opportunity to practice how to productively engage in difficult political conversations.
This Take Action Tuesday, don’t ban politics from the Thanksgiving table, instead learn to engage in difficult conversations and foster understanding amidst disagreement.
- Set an Intention. Before engaging in a political conversation, set a realistic intention. Focus on deepening your understanding of their perspective and sharing your opinion in a way that allows others to learn and ask questions. Remember that successful conversations don’t necessarily end in agreement; they end in understanding.
- Speak From Experience. You are an expert on your own life experience. By sharing how a specific issue has impacted you, you humanize the issue and allow others to understand its effects.
- Actually Listen. Being a good listener is more than giving others the opportunity to speak. Good listeners are willing to be surprised, instead of relying on preconceived notions of how others will feel or react.
How do you approach political conversations around the Thanksgiving table? Let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org.