Iowa City, Iowa — Many Iowans will be meeting up next week with family members they haven’t seen in a while, and some of us need to mentally prepare ourselves so we’re not sucked into a squabble that ruins Thanksgiving. University of Iowa professor and psychologist Michele Williams says we just had the mid-term elections last week, but that’s likely something to be avoided, along with discussions about inflation, gas prices and the economy. Even vaccines can still be a touchy subject.
In order to keep family conversations civil, Williams says the key is to make discussions dialogues, not debates. Stay patient, she says, and tread carefully on potential hot-button topics.
She says some families manage conflict by deciding only to talk about football or the kids or other things that they have in common and not politics.
Williams is a UI professor of management and entrepreneurship in the Tippie College of Business and she’s a psychologist who specializes in management communications and relationships.