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10 tips for dealing with awkward Thanksgiving conversations

First, imagine yourself surrounded by a force field, protecting you from your family's offensive opinions...


Gavia Baker-Whitelaw


Posted on Nov 27, 2014   Updated on May 30, 2021, 2:52 am CDT

Unless you’ve been blessed with the most laid-back family in America, Thanksgiving dinner is a recipe for social awkwardness. No matter how much you just want to enjoy your turkey in peace and talk about something totally innocuous, there’s always a racist uncle or an overly nosy grandparent determined to ruin the mood.

This video from How To Adult offers 10 solid tips on avoiding controversial topics and family feuds, such as preparing ready-made answers to tough questions like “Why don’t you have a real job yet?” or “When are you going to have a baby?”

Basically, it’s good to look at things strategically. See if you can arrange a secret signal with one of your more sympathetic relatives, so you can call for backup when you need rescuing from an awkward conversation. And if the worst comes to the worst and someone starts sharing opinions that you find downright offensive, you can try imagining yourself protected by an invisible force field. Hey, if it works, it works.

Hosted by Emma Mills and T. Michael Mart, the How To Adult channel makes advice videos for basic “adult” tasks like doing your taxes, booking a flight, or breaking up with a partner.  This video seems like a pretty useful addition because even if you don’t celebrate Thanksgiving, there’s always some kind of awkward family dinner on the horizon. 

Photo via National Cancer Institute/Wikimedia (public domain)

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*First Published: Nov 27, 2014, 5:06 pm CST