Watch CBS News

Psychology Professor Offers Tips To Avoid Political Fights During Holidays

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) -- If you're talking turkey and politics, the dinner table may get rowdy this Thanksgiving.

Political editor Jon Delano has more on keeping things civil in a post-election America.

Thanksgiving has long been the proverbial melting pot for political dialogue, and this year, while the emotionally charged election is still swirling in the minds of many, politics will end up at many Thanksgiving dinner tables as the red-hot main course.

The 2016 election has taken an emotional toll. According to an American Psychological Association survey, more than half of all Americans say it was the source of significant stress.

For some, the anxiety of being with politically divided family members will keep them from even showing up on Thanksgiving.

"Some of my family supported Mr. Trump, which flabbergasted me," Reverend Skip Jordan said. "No, I will not be going home."

Others view politics like football and turkey -- inevitable.

"It's not like we're not going to talk about it," Willie Ward, who was spending Thanksgiving with family, said. "It's like, how LONG we're going to talk about it."

If you're worried a political food fight might break out before the pumpkin pie is even served, experts say there are smart ways to navigate the "elephant in the room."

"Lots of families are going to be getting together where they differ sharply," said Georgetown University psychology professor Fathali Moghaddam.

Moghaddam suggests the family come to the table with a pre-determined strategy, whether it's avoiding the topic completely, agreeing to listen to each other without arguing, or using a trusted family member as a mediator when discussing delicate subjects.

"Somebody who is accepted by everyone and who's moderate who would listen to both sides," Moghaddam explained.

He says the goal should be to focus on what brings you together, rather than what tears you apart.

Join The Conversation On The KDKA Facebook Page
Stay Up To Date, Follow KDKA On Twitter

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.