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Dreading the controversial topics that are sure to come up around the dinner table?
This holiday season we want you to indulge in a conflict-free, wholesome time with family – at least across the dinner table.
Distract people with strategic flattery. When your aunt starts in on COVID, politics or whatever topic riles and divides your family, hit her with an “I love your…” and choose anything from the earrings she's wearing to her hairdo. After all, the holidays are about spreading love not war.
When you see your uncle get going, interrupt with a speech about love, peace and togetherness. The longer the better.
Propose a new business idea. Make it something believable, but ridiculous. Everyone loves a common enemy and they might come at you like hawks, but at least they’re not fighting amongst themselves.
Keep people at bay by filling the lulls. Don’t give them a chance to get a nasty word in. Or better yet, ask your grandpa to talk about his adolescence, he’ll keep everyone quiet for ages.
Fake an emergency by making a sudden and dramatic exit without explanation. If executed correctly, their curiosity will dominate the topic of conversation long after you’ve returned.
Crack a good joke. This is especially effective after something uncomfortable has already been uttered. Laughter heals all wounds, right?
Ask lots of questions. If you think you might send them on a rant talking about your own life, just focus your attention on theirs. The more they talk about themselves, the better their mood will be.
Make sure there’s more than enough food to go around. Hangry people make bold statements, keep them in a food coma with all your best dishes to ensure they stay on their best behaviour.
If you get into a pickle one on one, quickly avert the conversation by asking them for a small loan. They probably won’t agree, but it’ll certainly change the topic quickly.
Start singing your favourite carol, loud and proud. Who knows, someone might even join in?
The holidays don’t have to be full of unpleasant conversations, hopefully you can keep the narrative light and easy-going with these helpful tips.
How do you keep the peace at your family dinners over the holiday season?