Ways to dodge awkward conversations at the Thanksgiving dinner table

Alexander Hong/Staff

Spending time with family can be wonderful, but chances are they’ll ask you an awkward question or two. When that happens around the dinner table, the mood can sour pretty quickly. At times like these, it’s in your best interest to shift the conversation in a new direction to avoid a potentially awkward one. So here are some tips for if it seems like an awkward conversation is brewing at your Thanksgiving table.

Conveniently put food in your mouth

Maybe the reason why something is awkward is that it’s putting you on the spot. If all you need is just a little bit of time to think, then eating is the perfect excuse. You’ll have plenty of time to think while you chew that monstrous bite of turkey you just stuffed in your mouth. 

Talk about the interesting things you’re learning in class

Grades can be a touchy subject, but relatives will still always ask how your classes are going. So instead of mumbling that you failed a midterm, we at the Clog suggest you shift the conversation to the types of classes you’re taking and what you’re learning. Not only is it a chance to review course material, as teaching others is a great way to study, but it’s also an educational deflection.

Go to the restroom

There may come a point where you can’t just deflect anymore. When things get too awkward, remember that you can always leave the table. Saying you have to go to the restroom will make it seem less rude. This way, you can have a little privacy to get your bearings and prepare to dive back into your family’s discussion. There’s also the chance your relatives have moved on from the awkward conversation, which is always a relief.

Shift the focus to another relative

Siblings and cousins can be great people to shift attention to. Being grilled can be uncomfortable, so it’s perfectly OK to spread the love and throw another family member under the bus. This way, a relative still gets to know about the lives of the younger members of the family, and you will get a momentary reprieve.

Thanksgiving is a wonderful time to spend with family. We hope these tips will help you avoid any awkwardness you really don’t want to deal with. Happy Thanksgiving! We hope you have a nice break that’s not too awkward.

Contact Zachariah Nash at [email protected] .