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October 25, 2020

Politics and family gatherings.

If there is one thing I am simply not a fan of, it is politics. Of course I care about politics and understand how important they are in the interest of values and ideologies that I care about, but I despise how friends and families can let politics literally divide them right down the middle.

If there is one place you can expect two of everybody's least favorite topics of conversation to pop up, politics and religion, it is around the family dinner table during a gathering, such as at Thanksgiving. You want to be able to discuss your ideals and political leanings with your family, but what if they simply won't hear your side of the story? What if their minds are so closed that they are only open to spouting out their side of the story?

What can you do?

It's quite simple, really. Ignore it. Politics, as divisive as they can be, are no reason to let your family be torn asunder. Everyone can have their own ideals and their own beliefs, but you are free to simply tune it out. You don't have to sit anywhere and take any kind of political nonsense from people who will only talk about their own political party and their own candidate, without hearing out the other side.

And that is where things can get really ugly. When people have closed off their minds so much that they can refuse to listen to any kind of dissenting opinion, all that usually ends up happening is nothing but fighting, and no kind of healthy discourse about a political topic is able to take place, because the person might take any negative opinions over a political candidate or party they support as a personal affront to themselves. These are the worst kinds of political discussions, because you are unable to add any real substance to the conversation without being attacked by the other party.

Switch it up.

Don't let someone ruin your family gathering with toxic political talk if the discussion is getting out of hand. Some people are simply not capable of healthy debate, and this is something that most people are simply going to have to get used to. We all have at least one of these types in our families, and they can vie for any political party. This is not something that is only limited to Democrats or Republicans. If you find yourself dealing with someone like this, it can be difficult to keep your temper in check when someone simply won't let you get a word in edgewise. I simply started doing this:

If someone will not debate a topic with respect and without getting pissy, I ignore them.

The simple fact is, if you aren't capable of conducting yourself with respect and integrity when "listening" to my opinions, then I have no interest in listening to yours. I am more than happy to talk with anyone about almost anything if they are willing to debate in a calm and polite fashion. I will refuse to do so if you are incapable of conducting yourself like a decent human being during our conversations, and I will likely get up and go somewhere else away from you.

It can be hard to try to stand up for yourself when you are dealing with someone who is supposed to be your family or even a friend. Sometimes, however, you have to simply put your foot down and let it be known that you aren't going to allow yourself to be treated like trash just because you have a differing opinion from your family member or friend. If you're unable to make an escape, a great idea is to simply stop responding to the person. Easy-peasy!

This is what I do in the situation of being trapped at a family gathering with political, religious, or some other kind of argument going on. I love a good debate about controversial or even just normal topics, but I refuse to involve myself in discussions which should be polite but turn confrontational.

There's just no time in life for all that nonsense.