Dealing with holiday drama

Deaunzze Trotter, Staff Reporter

With the holidays around the corner families often together for one big dinner, although this year that may come in the form of a zoom call.  

For many, dinner usually goes smoothly, but some families experience awkwardness and anger when family members start preaching about their political views with one another. It is not always a problem, but it can create tension in those households where arguments begin. While there may not be a way to completely alleviate this problem, there are certain skills that people can learn in order to deal with morally and politically opposed relatives. 

 

Be respectful

The main thing people do not want to do is act rude and obnoxious. Keeping things civil by respectfully listening to what the other person has to say can ultimately lead to a productive conversation. 

Senior Malcolm McClain says that while he may find some people obnoxious as they try to share their views, showing respect is the ultimate way to handle it. 

“Try to be respectful of their views and be civil,” McClain said. 

 

Be open to different viewpoints

Sometimes a person can be trying to be respectful or civil, but another person will say something and they will immediately want to respond.  When people are thinking of something defensive to say, they are not listening to the person speaking. 

Be open. Everyone has an opinion. People should be able to stand their ground, but also be respectful, and be open to agreeing to disagree.  

“Oftentimes I get them to see where I’m coming from, other times it’s like talking to a brick wall,” senior Trinity Williams said. “When that happens, I let it be.”

 

Be ready to leave

If talking to this person isn’t going anywhere then it is not necessary to keep talking to them. 

Sophomore Janiah Harris was involved at a family gathering when talk started about politics and stimulus checks.  

“Leaving seemed like the best option because I didn’t want to make anyone feel upset but I still felt like my opinion should be valid,” Harris said.  “ I don’t like arguing with people close to me,  but I still want them to understand where I’m coming from.”

People are not obligated to challenge others’ views or try to change them. If the conversation becomes mentally straining then don’t hesitate to leave the conversation. There is no need to continue talking to someone who refuses to listen, especially when staying might make things worse.

Sophomore Leanna Duncan was recently at a birthday party with family and a few of them challenged her point of view on certain topics. 

I had to pick to walk away as the best option because I knew I was in full support of the rights of lgbt+ and the BLM movement and if I did not walk away I know my attitude was going to get me in a worse position than I was already in,” Duncan said.  “Things would have escalated a lot more if I had not left because I know it would have turned personal real quick and things would be said that we did not mean; also it would have caused a bigger issue within our family.   I did not want to cause more drama.