How to Win at the Thanksgiving Table

Happy Thanksgiving to all my friends with PRL!

This Thanksgiving you’re certain to find yourself in a conversation about politics.

Trust me! This is a toxic conversation that you do not want to be a part of.

As Dale Carnegie teaches us,

The Only Way to Get the Best of an Argument is to Avoid It!

If you cannot avoid an argument, I encourage you to ask questions of the other people. Listen and ask questions. Work to understand their positions, with your questions leading people to a high ground position where everyone agrees.

  • Yes, these scandals are horrible. No one deserves to be treated like this, don’t you agree?
  • Yes, the President does say some provocative things. Does it help him keep the conversation focused where he wants?

If you’re unable to bring the conversation to a higher level, you risk telling someone they’re wrong.

Never tell someone they’re wrong!

They’ll fall back into a defensive position, justify everything they’ve said, and point the finger back at you to tell you why you’re wrong.

Instead, do your best to paraphrase the words of the other, in a sincere attempt to understand them. Let them talk themselves out for a while. They might want to be heard, might want to be right. You’re not going to change it over the weekend.

And then remind everyone that you’re thankful that you’re all family, that you want to enjoy the weekend together, and that politics could spoil everything so let’s talk about something else.

No one wants to spoil the party. Give them an out from the toxic conversation, and move on.

I recorded a short (5 minute) video discussing these ideas, you can see it here:

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If you think this will be helpful for others that you know, please feel free to share this with your friends and family!

Thanks PRL readers, and enjoy your Thanksgiving Holiday!

—Jeffrey





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