Ahh, Thanksgiving Break at last! Whether you celebrate Thanksgiving or not, I hope everyone gets a chance to relax and take a true break over the next week. For many, this means returning home to family; however, not everyone has a family they can return home to, and not every trip home is relaxing.
In this Try This Tuesday, I’d like to give a little space to the folks who know that their trip home could explode at any moment and provide some strategies to make their visits a little smoother.
Many of us know the topics that will trigger a particular family member, whether it be politics, issues of social injustice, mask mandates, or sports. While it can be difficult, avoiding the topics that we know will trigger both ourselves and our family members can often be the simplest step in preventing conflict. Plan out the topics you want to avoid, then don’t bring them up no matter how much you want to. Sometimes the shoe is on the other foot, and you know a particular family member is going to try to provoke you eventually. In this case, prepare a few neutral responses ahead of time such as “I’m not going to talk about that” or “boy these sure are interesting times” then play them on repeat.
Surviving the break can also mean spending the minimum amount of time at home. This could be by keeping your visit short (perhaps just for Thanksgiving dinner) or by getting out of the house as much as possible when you are home. Set up plans ahead of time (such as catching up with an old friend) to help make it easier to get out of the house. Another option when trapped in the house is maximize your time with the family you do want to see. Go play Switch with your sibling, sit on the couch next to your grandmother, or cook with a parent if they are the ones you get along with the best.
Below are a couple of articles to provide further ideas for manage holiday conflict. I hope this post and these articles help everyone have a more relaxing Thanksgiving Break!