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Awkward or uncomfortable Thanksgiving conversations? Set boundaries ahead of time

Turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, and family drama. It adds up to nearly 60% of young adults in the U.S. saying they’d prefer to skip Thanksgiving altogether.

“[People have] differences of opinions on a whole lot of topics," said Relevé Counseling therapist, Alex Gonzalez. "From sports teams, to politics, to social issues and the joke is everyone has that uncle right that you don’t want to talk to."

That doesn’t even include invasive, personal questions like, “Why are you single? Why don’t you have kids yet?”

Alex suggests being proactive and setting ground rules ahead of time.

“Nobody wants to deal with confrontation... especially, when it’s a holiday. You’re supposed to be happy and together. If someone says something that’s against the agreed upon list of things that we’re not going to talk about, then you can just say, 'No, we’re not talking about that.'”

But, if someone chooses not to follow the rules, walk away.

“You should not have to be miserable for somebody else’s sake.”

Many people will decide to just grin and bear it. While that may help you through it in the moment, your frustration may come out in a different way.

“You may be so amped on something that you may react out of proportion to something that occurs later, which then further creates more problems in your life, further distress.”

It’s important for everyone to respect each other’s boundaries on Thanksgiving. By doing so, families can have a positive and memorable holiday.


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