Thankful for Family? Keeping the Peace During Thanksgiving Conflicts

Posted by Jonathan Jerkins | Nov 22, 2022 | 0 Comments

You may love your family, but holidays with the people you love the most can still be hard. From political battles to the disapproval of your brother's new girlfriend or judgment over your recent divorce, the conversation at the Thanksgiving dinner table can be brutal. Keeping the peace can be difficult, even in the best of years. But it can be hard to keep that simmering Thanksgiving pot from boiling over if you've had a rough year, a family crisis, or a divorce, and you're feeling especially vulnerable. 

Collaborate and Deflect

Make some strategic alliances ahead of your Thanksgiving dinner. Maybe you and your siblings can agree to immediately distract everyone or steer the conversation in a new direction whenever a family member brings up one of several touchy topics. When Aunt Karen says, “Wow, Barbara, I'm so sorry to hear that you couldn't keep Ken happy in your marriage,” your brother can jump in with, “Hey! Did anyone hear about that 50-pound turkey they found over in Alleghany County? I have the video!”

Don't Take it Personally

It's easier said than done but taking everything your family says with a grain of salt can make a holiday much more mellow. When someone starts talking about the evils of divorce, don't assume they're directing an attack at you. People can be thoughtless. But often, we'll find that others are surprised that we take offense at what we say. Assuming that everyone means well, even if they don't, you'll find criticism much easier to take. 

Don't Hit Back

If someone hurts you, whether intentionally or not, don't get defensive and try to hurt them back. Every communication has two sides, but you are only responsible for what you say. Uncle Freddie may be rude, but if you're rude back, it could make your entire Thanksgiving dinner much more hostile. Instead, try to remain calm and move on.

You Need an Experienced North Carolina Family Lawyer

If you're thinking about a divorce or separation or are already in the process, you need skilled legal advocacy. An experienced family lawyer, like those at Jerkins Family Law, can offer guidance and advise you on your options. Call Jerkins Family Law at 919-719-2785 or contact us online.

About the Author

Jonathan Jerkins

Jonathan "Jay" Jerkins, a native of Raleigh, North Carolina, intentionally focuses his practice on all aspects of North Carolina family law litigation and negotiations. Jay was admitted to the practice of law in North Carolina in 2014.


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