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Don't let politics ruin your turkey dinner: Here's how you can ease Thanksgiving dinner tension

Posted at 6:32 PM, Nov 22, 2017
and last updated 2017-11-22 21:33:08-05

Want a happy Thanksgiving? Experts say avoid talking about politics.

There will be a lot of Thanksgiving table talk Thursday especially among friends and family getting together for the first time in months.

Here's something to remember if the conversation turns to politics: A recent study showed last Thanksgiving, families went for fewer second helpings and earlier exits because of heated political debates.

Politics divided families so much they spent 20 to 30 minutes less at the dinner table with one another. 

Here in Las Vegas, with the Juranis, politics is always on the table.

"We're a good mix. We have never gotten into a fist fight," says Nadia Jurani. "We try not  to be controversial because one of my sons is liberal and the other is conservative."

On thanksgiving, debates are a side dish.

"The liberal has accepted the fact that he lost. So the conversation now is not as bad as before! It was harsh before. Sometimes I was the one upset too." 

Thursday will be no different.

"We will be talking about politics tomorrow," Jurani says. "The DACA, Judge Moore, all the sexual harassment cases that's coming up."

So how do you avoid that conversation minefield?

Experts say keep an open mind.

Dr. Karen Cruey, a psychiatrist, tells 13 Action News during dinner time, "Not too much alcohol... Because maybe we won't cope as well.

If you really feel like you need to pause, take a deep breath, don't hesitate to step out for a while.

Also, be mentally ready for loaded questions.

"If we prepare our answers in advance, I think we can help relieve some of the stress."

Or simply create a no-politics rule.  If that does not work, deflect.

"I think we can distract people and people will accept a change of conversation better than we realize."

That's what the Juranis say they will do tomorrow.

"The promise now is to make the thanksgiving more wholesome for the family," says Nadia Jurani.