Yesterday's post about how to deal with your politically oppositional relatives during the holidays yielded a treasure trove of useful responses. Like:
Nick Nichols I let them rant loudly (they are always loud) and then remind them that, in my experience, ones personal volume is in inverse proportion to ones political understanding and IQ. They usually don't understand this either and it makes them worry.
Pat P11111 The method is called the sandwich. You always start with a positive comment like"Thats a real good question". Once that positive comment is given the disputed topic is covered and then another positive statement is given.You wouldn't think that a simple method like this could make a difference but people reaspond so strongly to praise that this really works well. The positive statements are perceived as a measure of respect. And that respect is often returned.
David Silva Duct tape-applied orally and generously.
Ebony Murphy-Root Xanax and rose
paplanner version II My time honored method of dealing with my right wing relatives is to argue further to the right than they are, thus forcing them leftward. Works about 1/3 of the time.
Barbara Moubry I live in Wisconsin. I implement a rule at the table that we don't discuss religion, politics or Brett Favre. It makes a point and a joke at the same time and keeps the mood upbeat.
Christopher Robert Beck do what I do, just annoy them till their holiday is ruined! lol
Amy Flippin My policy is this.. if I wouldn't discuss my sex life with you, I shouldn't be discussing politics with you either.
Holly Kidder Give them free tickets to the nearest Monster Truck event & out zee door they skedaddle. :)
Michael Edward Dortch Focus the discussion on the food, whatever game is on or about to be on TV and/or the advantages and disadvantages of the various routes taken by travelers to the gathering in question. That should kill enough time to put enough of the contentious and cantankerous into a food- and/or drink-induced social coma... ;-)
Erma Aker Play scrabble.
Clayton Campbell Admit nothing, deny everything and make counter accusations.
Natasha Latrasha Get all your arguments in a row including but not limited to every character defect of the last 10 presidents they liked and say it really fast with a thank you for dinner; and give them a Buddhist quote for their wall for Xmas.
Dan Lieberman The first person who brings up politics or religion has to go sit at the 'kids' table', doesn't get any dessert AND has to do the dishes!
This may be my favorite:
laurenj I was a queer progressive in an extremely conservative Catholic High School in the Deep South, and continued to live very conservative areas until two years ago. I've dealt with these problems my entire life and I've found two rules to stick to absolutely: 1) Going "nuclear" is a discussion-ender (which is ok sometimes, I'll admit) and I've found (during my teenage years) that it does nothing to prove your point (and usually backfires). It's really tempting to go to that emotional place first, but I've learned that you can always go "nuclear" but you can't take that extreme action back in a typical conversation. 2) Know how your opposition has framed their arguments. It will help you to translate your ideals in words they understand, or it will help you to break those frames.
Got more? Please share in the comments.