Turkey, pie and.... politics? Avoiding controversial topics at the table

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There’s a lot going on during Thanksgiving. Between last minute shopping, traveling through some rough weather in some parts of the region, to stressing out over cooking and the crowds at home.

But in the age of controversial politics, things can get particularly heated. And not just in the oven.

“Going in, don’t borrow trouble,” said Bailey Blair, Clinical Care Director at Mental Health Association of South Central Kansas. “Go into it like this is going to be a peaceful, fun occasion.”

Blair suggests finding natural reasons to get out of a conversation if you’re uncomfortable with any topic, especially the tension.

“You don’t have to take part in any conversation you don’t want to,” she said. “Most of us have the ability to get up and walk away. There’s always the opportunity to say ‘I need to get another drink. Do I smell something burning?’”

Blair suggests those natural excuses will likely end any heated conversation. To take it a step farther, if previous holidays have been disrupted because fights over controversy – set ground rules.

Two years ago, an NPR/PBS Newshour/Maris Poll showed 58 percent of people dreaded talking politics over turkey. 31 percent said they were eager to talk to topic, while 11 percent were unsure.

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