Thanksgiving Day table conversations

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Thanksgiving is usually a happy occasion for families and friends to gather for good times and good food. Sometimes sensitive conversations perhaps over politics or Covid-19, for example can quickly take an unpleasant turn and create stress or tension.

On Monday, we spoke to a clinical social worker at Essentia Health and posed a couple questions to him like, should you ask an unvaccinated family member or friend to take a Covid-19 test? "Being real clear about that intent, being upfront about I’m concerned for my well-being. I’m concerned for my family’s well-being. Being down the topic in terms of safety and well-being people can be more general and flexible in the choices they make", said Benjamin Hustedt.

Another question we asked was, “are there good thanksgiving gathering ground rules you could set-up *for those difficult conversation?"
"Being upfront! The intent is to come together as a family and spend quality time with one another. Maybe that means communicating ahead of time, "Hey, I know there’s a lot things happening in the world right now. I want us to enjoy our time together and I know we have different views on things. So here’s a list of things I prefer we not discuss or if we do, I want to remain civil."

Other things to do at the gathering to handle any type of stress that may occur include: admitting when you’re wrong; changing the subject respectfully; accepting that you can’t change people’s beliefs and handle hard topics with a soft heart.