Author: Louis

How to Start a Thanksgiving Conversation with Your Uncle

How to Start a Thanksgiving Conversation with Your Uncle

Op-Ed: How to talk to your disagreeable uncle at Thanksgiving

It’s Thanksgiving and you want to talk to your disagreeable uncle — and while that may seem like a simple matter, this year, it’s particularly complex. The conversation — especially if you want to have a productive relationship with the family member — is an opportunity to set the record straight.

What should you say? What is appropriate Thanksgiving conversation starters? How to approach the issue can differ by family members and there is no one-size-fits-all approach. But here are a few suggestions:

For some of us, this may feel like an impossible task. We’re all a little skeptical that we’ll be able to find common ground with family members who don’t even like us. Some may respond with, “Really, my whole family hates me.” But you’ve still got to try, and you know what? As long as you stay open-minded and keep things positive, you may be surprised at how it’s possible to connect over the table.

When in doubt, ask questions.

“Do you want to talk about anything that’s on my mind?”

“What’s on your mind?”

“What’s on your mind?”

“I would love to, but I have to go now.”

“I’m sorry, but I can’t do that. I have a lot on my mind.”

Ask the same questions and be specific in your responses. If you’re going to invite him to have Thanksgiving dinner, “What’s on your mind?” is likely to get a flat-out no. But if you ask about his favorite football team, that’s likely to get a positive response, though it’s worth noting that football is a bit more personal than an NFL team

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