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Dealing with political conversation, conflict at Thanksgiving dinner

Posted at 6:20 AM, Nov 21, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-21 10:15:18-05

Thanksgiving is only a few days away and while some may have turkey at the forefront of their minds, others may be thinking about how to best avoid heated political conversations. 

The Center for Community Dialogue in Tucson specializes in facilitating conflict in conversation. 

Catherine Tornbom, an employee at the Center for Community Dialogue says they encourage mediation, not litigation. 

"Most of conversations and communication would go a whole lot better if people would spend more time listening than thinking what they're gonna say, how they're gonna say it and when they're gonna say it and then interject," said Tornbom. 

She added that when the center puts on trainings or classes for co-workers or families struggling with political conversation, they always suggest three steps. 

First off, if they're engaging in heated political conversation, they recommend you listen to the other person. 

Second, once the other person is done talking, they recommend reiterating what they said to show you've been listening. 

Finally, asking a genuinely curious question to continue the conversation in a positive manner. 

"Everyone we talk to wether it's political on both sides of the spectrum and in between really want the opportunity to sincerely, to talk to each other," said Tornbom. 

Tornbom added it's important to keep in mind why everyone is gathered and the true meaning of the holiday.

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