The election is getting people uninvited to Thanksgiving

South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley met with President-elect Donald Trump on Thursday.

Sarah-Jane Cunningham knew that her Facebook posts about the election were rubbing her family the wrong way, but she didn’t realize the posts would get her uninvited from Thanksgiving dinner.

The 19-year-old said her mother called a week before Thanksgiving and confronted her about the Facebook posts regarding President-elect Donald Trump.

“She asked me if I was going to be disrespectful to my family, and I told her that it could work either way, Cunningham said. "If the things I am saying are disrespectful to Trump supporters, the things they are saying are also disrespectful to me.”

Cunningham's response got her uninvited to her family’s Thanksgiving dinner in Maine. She said that while her mom later called and tried to make things right, it was too late and she plans to hang out with her two cats in Boston on Thanksgiving.

And she won’t be the only one whose political views earned them the a spot on the uninvited list at family Thanksgiving.

On Twitter, Trump and Clinton supporters-alike shared their stories about getting uninvited from Thanksgiving.

Others, who may have wanted a reason to skip dinner, simply said they were dreading the inevitable alcohol-fueled political discussions.

For those who are trying to repair relationships with family members they don't agree with, the best strategy may be to avoid hot-button political topics during the holidays, according to Jamie M. Howard,  a clinical psychologist at the Anxiety and Mood Disorders Center of the Child Mind Institute in New York City.

“People do get heated on things they feel passionately about,” she said. “When you enter the conversation, don’t enter it trying to change someone’s mind or prove why you are right and they are wrong. At this point, you aren’t going to change anyone’s mind.”

And if you manage to get yourself back on the invite list to dinner, try to use humor to defuse tense political discussions, but also set boundaries and try to keep the conversation from getting personal.

“I would try to pivot the conversation, say something like “we are all reasonable, smart people here, and yet we still don’t agree, but boy this turkey is good;' something to shift the conversation, especially if there is alcohol involved,” she said.

And while you may be on a hot-streak with the politics posts on social media, you might want to cool-it, says James Lomax, a professor in the Menninger Department of Psychiatry and Behavior Sciences at Baylor College of Medicine.

Social media gives people the illusion of invulnerability, Lomax said, but what you post today could bite you tomorrow.

“It’s important to remember people read what you say,” he said, adding that especially in this election’s contentious political climate, people are increasingly vulnerable to someone reacting in a volatile way to online posts.

Howard said when families make the decision to discuss politics, they should try to stick to the facts and not personally attack others’ beliefs.

“The history of our country is built on different political parties and people thinking different things,” Howard said. “It pushes us forward, and it’s a good thing people have different opinions than us. If you can stay grounded in that spirit, it is a good thing.”

Or you can also choose to just keep your mouth shut.

"It’s family ... just going to ignore it, and grin and bear it," Cunningham said.


Copyright 2016 WCNC


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