Politics, Religion and Prior Relationships: the Most Controversial Subjects over the Christmas Table
Christmas dinner conversations, a loose and relaxed moment when we are able to express ourselves more casually, can become, in an instant, family disagreements regarding certain comments. The specialists at Quirónsalud Valencia and Torrevieja advise steering clear of political opinions, especially if we know that one of the people present has a very different opinion or is not open to dialogue, as well as avoiding religious sentiments on dates based on the Christian faith.
Another subject that should be avoided is sex, which, "though it may be a fun topic," points out Doctor Marina Sangonzalo, psychologist at Quirónsalud Valencia, "we need to be careful if we are celebrating with people from other generations, who may find it uncomfortable or inappropriate." Likewise, it is also convenient to avoid talking about prior romantic relationships, and "best to keep to the idea of leaving the past behind and living in the present. Mentioning events from prior Christmases that were spent with former partners may hurt someone’s feelings," indicates Doctor Nuria Javaloyes, psychologist at Quirónsalud Torrevieja.
This type of friction is usually more common among political family, such as brothers- and sisters-in-law, parents-in-law and sons- and daughters-in-law, because we have not chosen them, unlike our partner, who was our choice. However, as Javaloyes says, there is a binding figure in every family, and this role is normally played by a father, mother or grandparent, a family touchstone respected by all, who helps smooth things over.
According to Javaloyes, the Christmas holidays are a time for exercising our assertiveness and avoiding accusations. "A good practice is to avoid statements such as "but you..." and turning them into "I would like you to...". This way, we can avoid possible conflicts at family gatherings," advises the specialist.
Both professionals recommend, when facing this type of situation, adopting a calm attitude, minimising conflict and openly asking people to leave their differences aside and value all the good that surrounds them at that moment.