Thanksgiving is around the corner, and for many of us this means getting together with family members who don’t share our political views. It’s a prospect that can be stressful enough under normal circumstances, but this year is different. We’ll be gathering just weeks after one of the most divisive election results of our lifetimes, one that has laid bare a huge rift in our nation and has left many with intense feelings of anger, fear, and sadness.
If you thought struggling through conversations with that tío who gets turnt off the wine and starts testing you with “mejorando la raza” comments was rough, the subject of Donald Trump might tempt you to skip politics talk altogether this year. But now more than ever we need to seize opportunities to have the hard conversations with those who matter most in our lives. Fighting bigotry starts in our own communities, at our own dining room tables, with our own family members.
But what is the best way to communicate persuasively with people who may have vastly different opinions than your own? How can you bridge the divide and actually get people to hear you out? Several experts – from hostage negotiators to counselors to cognitive and social science researchers – have weighed in. Below, we’ve compiled some helpful guides filled with effective tactics you can use to tackle fraught topics like race, sexuality, and gender equality:
- Slate’s “The Post-Trump Thanksgiving”
- Mic’s “Here’s how to talk to your Trump-supporting relatives this Thanksgiving”
- Quartz’s “A hostage negotiator’s simple strategy for difficult political conversations with people you love”
- Vox’s “Research says there are ways to reduce racial bias”
And for those looking for more hands-on guidance, speakers from Howard University, Mic, and the Opportunity Agenda will be hosting the Coaching Call: Let’s Talk About Race on Thanksgiving, “a free coaching session on how to avoid the pitfalls of charged conversations about bigotry and the tips and tools proven by social science to help open a constructive dialogue with family that can actually reduce racism and bias.” You can sign up for the session, which takes place Tuesday, November 22nd from 1:00 – 2:00pm here.