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Here's how you can avoid that awkward convo at the Thanksgiving table

When seeing extended family, sometimes ovens aren't the only things to heat up.

PHOENIX — Every year for the holiday's families get together to spend quality time together!

However, sometimes ovens aren't the only things heating up. Some people tend to lose their tempers over questionable topics. Psychologist Dr. Ellen Albertson says there are ways to wedge in positivity during the holidays with the people you love or try to love most!

"First of all, decide what's okay and what's not okay," she said.

Albertson says simplicity is a way to sidestep stressful situations and conversations.

  • Establish neutral topics
  • Avoid controversial subjects
  • Talk with your significant other ahead of time
  • Use phrases like “I feel” or “It bothers me when”

"Generally you want to keep the conversation on neutral grounds. Talk about entertainment, travel, sports, great things happening to you personally," she added.

Second, try focusing on family and friends as opposed to politics and vaccine preferences.

"You want to steer away from things like politics, people's eating habits, things that are going to get under people's skin," Albertson said.

Plus, if you were dating during the pandemic and plan to bring that someone special home, help guide them into the family.

"Just tell them the lay of the land and maybe have a code word or something if your significant is feeling uncomfortable, get up and leave the table for a moment and so maybe have some conversation ahead of time."

She added it's worth trying to turn that anxiety into excitement by preparing yourself for any gathering you're planning to attend.

"I'm a big fan of non-violent communication, where you take that person aside and say 'I noticed you talked to me in a tone, it made me feel this way or can we steer clear of these topics or please don't address me that way.'"

Either way, it's been a while since most of us have been together, and it's important to take time ahead of the holidays to stay open-minded and loving.

"We've spent a lot of time with ourselves. We've all experienced trauma and difficulty, things are going to be different at that table but understand you aren't a caterpillar, you've changed, you've transformed into a butterfly, be the person you are."

She says while it's imperative that you be yourself, you want to share that same respect for everyone.

"Work together as a family, because there's love beneath that and we all really want to connect with our family and our loved ones this holiday season."

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