Oh boy, this Thanksgiving may be the roughest yet if you’re heading home to conservative family. If you’re anticipating fights over politics from your Republican aunts and uncles, you’re completely justified in feeling more dread and anxiety about this year’s celebration than any ever before.
But hold on. You don’t have to walk in unprepared. As luck would have it, researchers have identified four steps to having a positive, productive conversation with people whose politics are in opposition to yours.
Check out the video below for some tips for not just dealing with family, but potentially helping them come around so that they’re on your side next time they go to vote. Crazy as it might sound, these four simple steps have been proven effective at guiding people towards supporting civil rights.
The four steps boil down to listening, talking about feelings, talking about needs, and then making an ask. Sounds too good to be true, right? Well, it takes some practice, since the natural inclination when confronted with hostile relatives is to either argue or curl up in a ball. But don’t give in! Watch the video, get the hang of those steps, and then walk into your childhood home ready to touch some hearts and minds.
(Not literally, though, unless your family is practicing some kind of sacrificial ritual for Thanksgiving, in which case maybe it’s time for a very different conversation.)