This Thanksgiving several people are stressing out anticipating political conversations that could turn into an ugly debate during dinner. It has been quite a November so far and most people will try to avoid these conversations, but maybe we shouldn’t avoid them. Everyone is in a different stage after election day but instead of avoidance, maybe productive dialogue is what can help us all move forward as a united community.
At Catharsis Productions, we believe difficult conversations can be tackled using humor strategically to better relate to the audience you’re talking to and bring the wall down (no pun intended). Because of that we put together some tips on how to handle political conversations if they arise during your Thanksgiving dinner. We decided to use cats to illustrate it…you’re welcome.
LISTEN AND RESPECT EVERYONE’S OPINION
Some people love dogs over cats. (Whaaat? Reaaally?) That doesn’t mean you have to agree or condone it…but each person is living this election through their own perspectives based on their life experiences.
Trying to put yourself in someone else’s shoes can help you understand why they think the way they do. Maybe a cat scratched or hissed at them. Or maybe you can hear their stories about how their dogs greets them at their door and they are always ready to play and come when their name is called.
On the other hand, offering a personal experience through your eyes can help other people understand your own point of view or preference for a candidate as well. Like when your cat purrs and lays on your lap being so adorable.
KEEP YOUR COOL
When a comment really pushes your buttons, distract yourself by thinking about things that make you happy (ala Julie Andrews singing “My Favorite Things” during Sound of Music) to keep your mind occupied. Think about your cat trying to fit into teeny tiny box.
OFFER PROACTIVE SOLUTIONS TO THE BIGGER PROBLEM
Sometimes we’re stuck arguing about our difference of opinion that we lose focus of the things we have in common and the bigger common goals we should stand together for.
FIGHT FIRE WITH FUNNY
If conflict arises and starts going the wrong way, crack a joke. Maybe show pictures or videos of your cat doing being the goof ball you know he is.
LOVE AND RESPECT EACH OTHER
At the end of the day, we all want the same things: safety for us and our families, respect, financial stability and to live in a country we can all be proud of. That’s what unites us.
Catharsis Productions' mission is to change the world by producing innovative, accessible and research-supported programming that challenges oppressive attitudes and shifts behavior.