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Navigating a post-election Thanksgiving

Parent and child hand turkeys have a heart to heart.
Parent and child hand turkeys have a heart to heart.
LA Johnson/NPR

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For many Americans sitting down to Thanksgiving dinner with their extended families this week, politics will likely be a topic of discussion that’s nearly impossible to avoid, and it can lead to tensions running high on a holiday that’s supposed to be about family, football, food, and relaxation.

Already, reports are surfacing across the country of people who are uninviting relatives or who have themselves been uninvited to Thanksgiving dinners due to their political leanings. For some families, the answer may very well be to leave politics out of the discussion pool altogether. For others, there is no option but to duke it out amongst the family and hope that everyone can still toast to the good old USofA when it’s all said and done. Because at the end of the day, they’re still your family and you’re supposed to love them no matter what...right?

How will you go about handling politics as a discussion topic at Thanksgiving? Are you avoiding family gatherings altogether because of the election? What tips do you have for others about best practices for talking politics at the dinner table? Have any relatives been excluded from your family celebration because of their political beliefs? Have you been uninvited from a family Thanksgiving because of how you voted?


Amy Cuddy, Ph.D., social psychologist and associate professor at Harvard Business School; she is the author of ‘PRESENCE: Bringing Your Boldest Self To Your Biggest Challenges’ (Little, Brown, and Company, 2015)

George Yancy, Ph.D., professor of philosophy at Emory University and the philosophy of race; he is the author of several books, including ‘Look, A White!: Philosophical Essays on Whiteness’ (Temple University Press, 2012)