If Your Parents Voted Trump, Here's How To Deal With Them This Thanksgiving
This election split many families: Many in our parents' generation voted for Donald Trump, while our generation tended to lean toward voting for Hillary Clinton.
In the wake of this unexpected and unprecedented outcome, and the fast-approaching holidays, the promise of reuniting with Trump-supporting parents can seem daunting.
Though the situation may seem impossible right now, there are several steps you can take to avoid an all-out family argument over you holiday meals.
1. Make a plan with your siblings.
If you have brothers and sisters, consider reaching out to them before you're all home for the holidays to figure out a plan of how to best approach your parents.
It's likely your siblings are feeling the same apprehension about going home that you're feeling, and leaning on each other in times like this is one of the best things you can do to work through whatever you're currently feeling.
2. Bring up the issue yourself.
There's no avoiding it: You know it will come up eventually.
Maybe another family member will mention it at dinner, or maybe your parents will make a remark about the election.
Whatever the case, discussions about this election are not going away anytime soon, and if you and your parents were on opposite sides, this will definitely cause tension.
If you really don't want to talk about it, try approaching your parents one-on-one and telling them you would prefer not to talk about the election. You might say it's a hard topic for you and you don't want to start an argument.
You never know. They're probably as tired of election drama as you are and will be more than happy to honor your request.
3. Leave politics out of the conversation as much as possible.
If you don't want to directly confront your parents about it, try to avoid discussing politics.
If it comes up at a family dinner, consider excusing yourself from the conversation, changing the subject, or simply saying "maybe we shouldn't talk about politics at the dinner table."
This might get a bit uncomfortable if your parents or other family members keep pressing the issue. But remember you are not obliged to discuss this election if you don't want to.
4. Keep an open mind.
If politics do come up, be respectful.
Listen to what your parents or family members have to say. Listen to the reasoning behind their opinions, and share your opinions afterwards.
In this election more than in any other, many people disregarded what others had to say on political issues, just because they did not support the same candidate. This resulted in many people standing against ideas without fully understanding their context.
Do not immediately dismiss your parents' opinions just because they voted for a different candidate than you. Rather, use this time to learn more about Trump's platform and what he's promised to do that the media hasn't been covering. Try to understand why your parents voted the way they did.
5. Be courteous.
Political discussions often get heated. This will probably happen, and it's completely normal.
However, there's a difference between a conversation being heated and a conversation becoming disrespectful.
Whatever you do, make as much of an effort as possible to ensure your discussions remain polite. No matter what the result of the election was, your parents are your family. They are your elders and they deserve your respect, even if you do not agree with them.
6. Reach out to your friends at home.
If you know that your parents are not going to respect your opinions or your desire to avoid discussing politics this holiday season, consider getting in contact with friends from home and planning something with them.
This will at least get you out of the house for a bit. It can even give you a safe haven of sorts where you can go if things at home get to be a bit too much.
7. Remember to take care of yourself.
Walk the dog, go on a run, go to a yoga class, or go somewhere quiet and read a book.
Doing whatever you need to do to stay mentally healthy is so important, especially now.
Not only is this good for your mental health, it's good for your physical health. It will likely reduce your stress levels, and being in a calm and relaxed state of mind will help you be more level-headed when trying to speak with your parents.
If you're calm, you'll be less likely to have any violent eruptions during a heated discussion because of repressed anger or pent-up energy, which will hopefully save you from dealing with an all-out family argument.
Now more than ever is the time for America to stand united, and especially for families to come together and support each other in the face of so much hatred.
Despite your differences, don't let your different political views damage the relationship you've built with your parents for your entire life. Nothing is worth that. Especially not Donald Trump.