How to handle politics and family members this holiday season

With the holidays here, an OU-Tulsa professor has advice on how to handle family members with differing political opinions.

It’s that time of year, where no matter how many gifts you wrap, no matter how many sweet treats you get, sometimes it feels impossible to avoid those awkward dinner conversations.

OU-Tulsa’s Dr. Meg Morgan is an assistant professor in political science. She says we’re seeing family we don’t normally spend time with, and she thinks the pandemic can lead to even more controversy. “We don’t normally see political division around public health issues, so I think that’s kind of raise it as well.”

She suggests people have phrases or topics prepared, such as, “I don’t feel like talking about that today,” or, “I don’t subscribe to that opinion.”

She adds, “You could say you know Uncle Earl, I don’t want to talk about politics today, I do want to talk about my daughter’s dance recital.”

She also has her own holiday tune: stay calm, stay curious. She says, “When we get judgmental, that’s when the emotions start rising, so stay calm, stay curious.”

The assistant professor also says your mental health is number and it’s okay setting boundaries. Maybe limit the amount of time spent together or leave at a specific time.





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