How to manage political discussions during family meals?

How to manage political discussions during family meals

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    in collaboration with

    Amélie Boukhobza (Clinical psychologist)

    While all the news is focused on the current political situation, and everyone likes to add their little grain of salt, Amélie Boukhobza, psychologist, explains to us how to manage political disagreements in the family.

    In the middle of Sunday lunch, your cousin started again. She once again expressed her political opinions loud and clear. The problem ? Not only do you not validate her ugly floral dresses, but as a bonus, you do not share (at all) her political ideals. How then can we react intelligently and avoid a general conflict? Amélie Boukhobza gives us some valuable advice.

    Politics, a subject that divides

    Family members often feel comfortable enough to express their deeply held opinions. A transparency that becomes problematic when delicate subjects, such as politics, are discussed.

    Your cousin, uncle or half-sister may then seek to have their political opinions “validated” by other members of the group or to find support among those close to them.

    And for good reason: the family being (usually) a “trusted” group, it is common to share similar opinions in matters of politics… Although in this area, it is always possible to have good (or less good) surprises.

    How then can we react “properly”, without giving in or going into family conflict? A few well-crafted strategies make it possible to maintain a somewhat friendly atmosphere…

    Advice from our expert

    Family meals transformed into arenas of political debates enthusiasts, it’s always a real danger! It is therefore necessary to establish rules of discussion“, warns Amélie Boukhobza.

    Otherwise, said by applying the following advice:

    1. We can agree either to avoid political topicsso that everyone can express their opinion without being interrupted.

    2. We can debate and discuss respecting the other’s point of view, even if we don’t agree. This promotes a climate of mutual respect.

    3. We develops empathy. We try to understand the motivations and emotions behind each other’s political opinions, for more peaceful exchanges.

    4. We don’t spend the entire meal on the subject. We decide to limit the time to return to lighter subjects later. For example, spending ten and fifteen minutes on this topic and then moving on can help prevent excesses.

    5. We choose our battles. It is sometimes wiser not to respond to certain provocations or to let comments pass that do not merit a confrontation. We focus on things where we can really contribute to the debate without inflaming the situation. It doesn’t deserve to upset the family…

    7. If the tension rises too high, we do not hesitate to interrupt discussions. A quick walk outside or a moment of silence can help everyone regain their calm.

    8. We can always try to find common subjects or values ​​that bring together rather than divide. For a more harmonious atmosphere.

    Remember, humor is always a weapon of choice in debates“, concludes the expert.

    The benefits of family meals

    Slide: The benefits of family meals