Some of us are the unfortunate ones that have to deal with the conservative family members over the holidays, that have views so opposing to ours, we often wonder how we are even related. They may say something like: “It’s time to make America great again” or “stop being silly, there is no such thing as white privilege,” and, frankly, it might make you want to scream, rip your hair out or get violent. Maybe all of the above.
Rest assure, if you are dreading the holidays because you have to spend it with your lovely conservative relatives, just know, you are not the only one. I have been doing this for years and have gathered a few tips and tricks on how to survive the holidays.
Simply Ignore Them. I am going to start off with the hardest tip. Ignoring can be very hard, especially when you hear them say something so ignorant. However, this is the best tip to avoid conflict. Letting them ramble on and on about how their hard earned money should not be given to the less fortunate and how Donald Trump is going to make them rich again, without telling them they are absolutely insane if they believe that, is maybe the best route to go. After all, chances are after this holiday season, you are going to have to face them again.
Body Language. This is another way to express your disagreement with what they are saying (and let out a little bit of anger), without saying it verbally. This is another safe way to make it through the holidays. Whenever they say something ignorant, shake your head. Roll your eyes. Let out a nervous chuckle. But, whatever you do, do not say anything.
Enjoy the food, and know this will not last forever. You won’t be with your family members forever. Sooner or later, you will go home or they will leave, and you can finally breathe. So, don’t go there to argue, enjoy the good food (hopefully), listen to music and just chill. This won’t last forever.
Steer the Conversation Away From Politics. Whenever somebody says something political and controversial, steer the conversation away from that topic as best as possible. If one relative says, “I just know Mike Pence is going to do good things with America,” this is a great opportunity to say, “Do you remember when we went to the beach two years ago? That was so much fun!”
Leave the Room. If all else fails, and you cannot take it anymore. Just walk away. It is not worth the fight. You will always have to deal with your family, so it is probably best not to fight. Especially, on a holiday. Leave the room, go for a walk and breathe in some fresh air. Chances are, it will calm you down and make you remember that it is the holidays and these days are special.
Remember, in these situations, no matter how much younger you are, you can always be the bigger person and not fight. Remember these holidays that we should respect other’s opinions. No matter how ridiculous, bigoted and borderline insane. I hope everyone has a good Thanksgiving!