What not to talk about at Thanksgiving dinner | Christina steinorth powell



As a marriage and family therapist and relationship expert, my busiest time of year seeing patients is from Thanksgiving until New Years Eve. The reason is that people are very anxious about meetings. of family. To help you Avoid sitting on the therapist couch this holiday season, I’ve put together a list of things to avoid at the Thanksgiving table.

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7 topics to avoid in the conversation during the holidays.

1. Family drama past and present.

When thinking about what not to talk about at Thanksgiving dinner, be sure to avoid existing or past family dramas. Discussing the existing family drama will usually result in each member of the family taking sides.

There’s not a single good thing that happens at a family reunion when people start teaming up against each other (except of course when you’re playing touch football to work that extra piece of pie off). pumpkin).

There is nothing worse than bringing up past problems within the family. For example, when mum says “do you remember when you were 16 and you didn’t come out of your room to eat with us because we didn’t want to let you go out with so and so?”

When something like this happens, you can say something like, “Mom, let’s not talk about negative things from the past. Let’s stay in the moment and enjoy each other’s company. ”

The risk of this maneuver is that Mom will be upset that you have placed a limit on her behavior. But you matter too. It’s okay to have limits on how you let others treat you.

Extra bonus: if you have children, you show that it is healthy to defend yourself.

2. Parental advice.

While the intentions may be good, if parenting advice pops up in a conversation, try to pivot as quickly as possible. No one likes to feel criticized about their parenting style, and there’s never really a good time to discuss such a personal issue at a party event.

3. Fertility.

This is another good subject to avoid. When and if a couple decides to have children is a very personal choice. Quite often there is usually a lot of very private information included in it, including issues with conception, health, and finances.

Also, and I hope this is obvious to anyone reading this, never assume someone is pregnant unless she tells you.

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4. Finances.

Discussions about finances should also be avoided. Money and its management do not belong to anyone else. You never really know if there may be a deeply personal issue as to why it seems a family member is too busy on their credit cards, or maybe their house is foreclosed.

For example, the financial hardship that others see could be caused by medical debt. One of a couple’s partners may be very sick and uncomfortable sharing this information with extended family and / or maybe they don’t want others to feel sorry for them.

There could also be a gambling addiction or sudden job loss. Whatever the reason, it’s nobody else’s business and if the discussion turns into finances, it’s best to refocus.

Consider this one of the top topics to avoid in conversation, and a great example of what not to say at Thanksgiving dinner.

5. Diets and calorie intake.

Comments about how much or how little food a person eats is a great topic to avoid. If anyone is overweight, trust me, they know it. If anyone has other issues with food, the Thanksgiving table is not the place to discuss it.

6. Politics.

A recent study showed that 40% of people say the current political climate has caused them to have strained family relationships. Obviously, if you know that not everyone around your party table is of the same opinion politically, the statistics show us that politics is something you will definitely want to avoid.

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If you were looking for holiday debate topics that are most likely to turn into fights, this would be at the top of the list.

7. Religions.

As the saying goes, “never talk about politics or religion”. Thanksgiving conversation topics probably shouldn’t deviate from this rule.

Studies have shown that 43% of religious people tend to talk about religion with others, while only 1 in 5 people who consider themselves non-religious bring up the subject.

What a person believes or does not believe in matters of religion is deeply personal. No one wants to feel obligated to convert and at the same time, no one wants to feel obligated to give up their religious beliefs.

Therefore, it is generally a good decision to leave religion out of discussions at holiday gatherings, as it is one of the most important topics to avoid in conversation in general.

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Christina steinorth powell is a registered psychotherapist and author of the new book Cheat Cards for Men: A Guide to Love for Men and Cue Cards for Life: Thoughtful Tips for Better Relationships.


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