By Laura Oakes

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Dreading that Thanksgiving family time because you fear a nasty conversation over the presidential election?  You aren’t alone.

After one of the most divisive elections in many cycles, many folks are dreading the table talk at Thanksgiving dinner.

With mixed families of different political persuasions in one house, University of St. Thomas professor of Family Communication Carol Bruess says one tip is to declare the day “politics-free.”

On the other hand, she says if a topic turns offensive, staying silent is not the answer; instead, speak up without talking back.

“You can speak up without ruining the day,” she said.

Bruess says in cases where family volatility may be more the norm, some people may find it easier this year to just skip the family Thanksgiving gathering altogether, and that’s OK.

“For some people, going into family discussions where they feel marginalized or they feel put down for what they believe, it might be the healthiest thing to just kindly opt out of putting yourself in that conversation this year,” Bruess said.

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