Virginia Tech professor helps navigate family political discussions over holidays

By Bethany Teague - Reporter

BLACKSBURG (WSLS 10) -  As the election cycle, and all the issues that came with it, are still fresh on many people's minds, one Virginia Tech professor has some tips to help keep the peace during those family discussions over Christmas dinner.

Todd Schenk, a professor of urban affairs and planning, said there is a good chance some hot-button issues, like the presidential election, climate change or immigration are likely to come up in many homes during the holidays, especially homes that were divided.

He said it is important to use positive language and non-verbal cues, as well as ask thoughtful and clarifying questions of the other side.

"We're all complex individuals," said Schenk. "So just because you fundamentally disagree with somebody on one issue, just remember in the heat of the moment, they deserve the same respect that we do."  

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