Changing the subject

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6 Ways to Change the Subject When Things Get Tense at Thanksgiving Dinner

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There are many ways to politely steer the conversation in a more pleasant direction

Thanksgiving is the one holiday that brings family together from all over the country to convene in one place. Young and old, liberal and conservative, traditional and modern… loved ones all gather around one table to break bread, be thankful, and catch up on a year’s worth of conversations.

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But, as the wine flows, certain topics of conversation that would normally be off-limits can come boiling to the surface. The presidential election, gun control, gay rights, and other controversial current events and issues can divide a family and quickly turn a harmonious dinner into a tear-filled scream fest. And nobody wants that.

Though certain topics may inevitably come up, if you find someone starting to talk about something that you know will only end in harsh words, there are many ways to politely steer the conversation in a more pleasant direction. This Thanksgiving, try giving a compliment to your conversation partner to deflect attention — or bring someone else into the conversation to start anew. If that fails, you can tap into an earlier, friendlier conversation. If that fails, there’s always the foolproof option of talking about food on this meal-centric holiday.

No matter what tense topics come up on Thanksgiving, try out one or more of these seven techniques to get back to something everyone can talk about without hurling insults or hurting feelings. Trust us, it’ll make your holiday much happier.

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