If you have a combative family, you might expect some arguments at your Thanksgiving Day dinner. No need to worry, though, because not all disagreements have to end badly. There are plenty of ways that you can get your point across without tables being flipped and food being thrown everywhere. Keep reading to learn how to adequately prove your point in the event of a Thanksgiving Day argument.
1. Don’t let your emotions get in the way
Arguments can become heated pretty quickly, but it’s important that you keep your emotions in check. If you get too emotional during an argument, you’ll likely end up saying some things that you’ll regret later on (resulting in a very awkward Thanksgiving dinner). Not letting your emotions get the better of you will also keep you clear-headed. Having an unclouded judgement will allow you to think more rationally and properly prove your point during the argument. If you have a good handle on your emotions, it can prevent the dispute from getting too out of hand.
2. Don’t name-call or demean the other person
Getting your point across is important, but demeaning the other person or calling them names is never the way to go. It goes hand-in-hand with not letting your emotions cloud your judgement during an argument. Even though you might not have the same viewpoints as the person you’re arguing with, you still have to respect them. Once you start getting personal, things won’t end well, and that might result in even bigger problems with the family.
3. Avoid “you” statements
Using “you” statements is like giving away your power during an argument because you’re blaming someone else for your emotions. You’re making yourself the victim, and the other person will likely get defensive and be less likely to want to make peace with you as a result. People mainly use “you” statements to make the other person feel bad or change, which won’t be effective for you in the long run. If you want to get your point across, make sure you’re using the right words.
4. Present points in an objective manner
If you want to prove your point during an argument properly, you’ll have to come prepared with the facts. By coming in objectively, you won’t misinterpret anything, and the other person won’t be able to call you out on it. It’ll be harder for the person you’re arguing with to find a flaw in what you’re saying because you can support your points with objective facts. Objectively presenting your points can also help you avoid saying things like “I feel this way,” or “I think this thing.” Phrases like that won’t make you sound too convincing to the other person.
5. Ask questions
One of the most satisfying ways to prove your point in an argument is to make the other person do it for you! If they’re saying something that’s vague or unclear, ask them questions and make them explain their point in more detail. Generally, when someone isn’t specific about a topic, it’s because they don’t have any valid reasons to back up what they’re saying. Ask them to prove any points and see if they can come to any conclusions.
6. Agree with certain points they make
Listening during an argument is just as important as proving your point, so make sure you’re hearing what the other person has to say. If there are certain things that you do agree with, let the other person know. Agreeing with small things reinforces that you’re listening to them and might even convince the other person on your point. When you agree with some of the small stuff, it also makes you seem less combative. As a result, it could lead the other person to believe that you’re not trying to convince them that what they think is wrong. It’s similar to the salesman saying: sell them something without the person realizing they’re being sold something.
7. Try to think about things from their point of view
It goes back to listening more than speaking during an argument. If you want to properly prove your point during an argument, you can try framing your points in a way that gets what the other person wants as a goal for the argument. For example, take something that you both want to see happen, and frame the point you’re trying to make in the argument on that. Appeal to what they want to see so that you have a better chance of proving your point. Trying to think about things from the other person’s perspective will allow you to appear more sympathetic. Also, trying to see things from their point of view can allow you to think of possible comebacks to points that you want to make.
8. Keep eye contact
When you can’t keep eye contact with the person you’re arguing with, it will seem like you’re unsure what you’re saying. You likely won’t be able to get your point across if you seem insecure, so try to keep eye contact as best as you can. It can also make you seem more assertive so that you won’t come off as weak or afraid. Confidence is key!
9. Come prepared
If you know your family is argumentative, come to your Thanksgiving dinner expecting there to be a fight. That way, it won’t catch you off guard, and you’ll know exactly what to say to get your point across once it happens. You’ll already know the essential points you’ll want to make and what to say to (hopefully) convince the other person.
10. Use personal examples when appropriate
Sometimes, certain issues can personally affect someone, and using personal examples can help the other person see your point during an argument. There are also times when issues don’t affect someone personally, so make sure only to use those examples when appropriate. When you do, you can use those examples to support your point, but it won’t actually be your main point.
Thanksgiving arguments can sometimes be inevitable, but they don’t have to end up ugly. Your opposing viewpoints don’t have to ruin your family dinner. Which of these examples do you think is the most helpful? Comment below!
Hi, I'm Latasha! I was born and raised in sunny South Florida and graduated from Florida Atlantic University in 2018. I have my bachelor's degree in English with a concentration in writing and rhetoric. I'm also planning to go back to school to get my MFA in creative writing in the near future. I consider myself to be a storyteller, and I love writing and blogging about lifestyle-related topics. My ultimate goal is to become a published author.