Regardless of your political views, our post-election world looks quite different from before. And if you’re anything like me, you’ve struggled knowing that this year’s holiday season has a gray cloud hanging over it, for one reason and one reason only: Donald Trump.
To cope with the idea of venturing home to a place where my family doesn’t agree with my views, I tapped into politics and culture writer Barbara Gonzalez, who had a few insights on how to ward off the pesky relatives whose opinions must be known. Before chatting with her, my plan of action consisted of: 1. Lots of alcohol 2. Using my baby cousins as a way of getting the family to stay off politics talk at the dinner table, and 3. Wearing running shoes, in case I have to make a hasty break for it. To put it lightly, I needed her help. Read on to see how she suggested we deal with the family and politics during the holidays.
1. Politics Survival Guide: Open Minded
1. Be open-minded.
Let's start at the very beginning. No matter how hostile or angry you are, you must enter the lion's den (also known as, the dinner table) with an open mind, ready to hear all opinions, no matter how ignorant.
2. Politics Survival Guide: Discomfort
2. Lean in to discomfort.
Once you've cleared your mind of all things you've been bombareded with over the past few weeks, it's time to saddle up. And by that we mean, don't be afraid to talk about the awkward, the scary or the issues that bring on the emotions. Don't be afraid to ask the questions you want answers to, and more importantly, don't be quiet about answering the questiosn you're most passionate about.
3. Politics Survival Guide: Research
3. Do your research beforehand.
If you plan to speak out during family dinner, be sure you have your facts straight. No debate was ever won without a little research.
4. Politics Survival Guide: First person stories
4. Use first-person stories.
Aside from simply using "I think" or "I know" to express your thoughts, using first-person stories is another useful tactic for clearly saying how you feel. Tell the family, for instance, about the group you work with that has a lot to lose under a Trump presidency, your experience as a woman or something relative that puts policies into real-life perspective.
5. Politics Survival Guide: Privilege
5. Check people on their privilege.
And when those with privilege (which, awkwardly enough, can be one of your parents...) talk from a biased standpoint, be sure to explain how they are lucky to be speaking from a position of advantage – but do so in a way that they feel grateful, not attacked.
6. Politics Survival Guide: Millennials
6. Speak for millennials everywhere.
If you're a millennial, you know that you've gotten some flack during the election. When family members point fingers or blame us youngins, be strong in knowing that age is only a factor if you let it be.
7. Politics Survival Guide: Humor
7. Use humor to your advantage.
Though politics is a topic of serious conversation, it can be made more light-hearted if necessary. Approach family conversations by referencing recent Saturday Night Live episodes or other YouTube videos that poke fun at the election to have a little more fun with it.