Banned from the dinner table? Here's advice for talking politics during the holidays

So, how'd your Thanksgiving dinner table conversation go? Did taxes come up? Maybe #MeToo? Or "taking a knee"?

Maybe you made a rule ahead of time to only stick to topics everyone agrees on ("Good stuffing, Grandma!"). One caller to this program said her family instituted a "safe word" that would instantly change the subject. But family therapist Bill Doherty says holiday gatherings are actually a good opportunity to talk productively about divisive issues.

Doherty is a professor of family social science at the University of Minnesota and he joined MPR News host Kerri Miller on this Black Friday to offer some concrete advice for talking -- and listening -- respectfully across lines of political or cultural divide. And he says you don't have to compromise your values to do so.

Doherty is also part of the Better Angels project, which holds workshops to help people work across those divides and understand each other better.

Use the audio player above to hear his advice.

MPR News is Reader Funded

Before you keep reading, take a moment to donate to MPR News. Your financial support ensures that factual and trusted news and context remain accessible to all.