5 Expert Tips on How to Deal With Family This Election Cycle
You’ve read the requisite books on women in politics, you’ve got your voter registration form sent in and you’re following the 10 best Twitter accounts for election coverage— you’re ready for November! And while you’re super proud of your own political prowess, that doesn’t mean you want to share your viewpoints with the world — and it definitely doesn’t mean you want to hear your cousin’s, dermatologist’s and childhood best friend’s opinions. Unfortunately, whether it’s on Facebook, at the office or just out to dinner, we’re often faced with awkward political positions that make our skin crawl. It’s often hard to know exactly how to deal, so we enlisted etiquette expert Elaine Swann to give us five tips on how to politely extricate yourself from these sticky situations with ease.
1. Change the subject. Elaine’s top etiquette rule is to “turn a stupid question into a new conversation.” Whether your grandmother is bemoaning the end of the world during your Sunday phone date or your co-workers are ranting every lunch hour in the break room, Elaine says that “building an arsenal of questions or comments that would appeal to their non-political interests” is the easiest way to diffuse a potentially awkward situation. If Bob the tech guy at work is really into electric cars, forward him an article you read about a new brand. When the conversation turns political, bring up the article and ask him about it. Bonus points if it’s something you enjoy talking about too.
2. Don’t argue. You can rarely change a person’s mind, Elaine reminds, and you can “only change the way you deal with them.” She adds, “Opinions are developed over years and are often passed down through generations. Don’t take on the burden of undoing this within the span of a single conversation.” Since all you can control is your reaction to the situation, be honest with yourself now about what you’re willing to let go and what will make you angry so you don’t end up getting heated in the moment.
3. Use it as an opportunity. Let’s say you’re out to dinner with your new significant other’s family and the election comes up. Elaine says this is a perfect time to “do more listening and less talking” so you can observe the family dynamic. She reminds that “you don’t only marry a person, but their family too,” so if you’re looking to get serious with this person and differing political opinions fall into the deal breaker category for you, it’s good to know what you’re getting into early.
4. Shut it down. “Sometimes, you have to be forward and tell folks what you will or will not tolerate,” Elaine says, so don’t be afraid to be assertive. When your uncle starts posting racist memes in response to an article you’ve posted on Facebook, delete the comment and send him a private message telling him why you did so. There’s no shame in your standing-up-for-yourself game.
5. Be vague. Most of the time, people who are imposing their viewpoints on others are just talking to hear themselves talk. You may feel weird by not contributing your real opinion, but Elaine says your ambiguity will probably go unnoticed. If you’re siting in your hair stylist’s chair and she asks you who you’re voting for, a simple “I haven’t made up my mind yet” followed by a swift subject change will almost always suffice.
Have you had an awkward political encounter recently? Tweet us @BritandCo and let us know how you handled it!
Pocket doors are so delightful in and of themselves. They appear when you need them, get tucked away when you don't, and make it easy to define rooms while keeping an open floor plan. Add to the pocket door a joyful patterned wallpaper surprise, and you will be sent right into fits of visual jubilation! Or something ;) Today we're sharing two simple and impactful pocket door makeovers that zhuzh up your space in a jiffy.
Anjelika Temple here, co-founder of Brit + Co and proud owner of several pocket doors! When I moved into my first real grown-up house a couple years ago, I knew I wanted to incorporate wallpaper so reached out to our friends at Chasing Paper to see how we might collaborate. It felt like a total lightbulb moment when I realized I could create a surprise pop of pattern on a couple sets of pocket doors.
Not only is it a whimsical way to bring color into a space, but the doors double as picture-perfect backdrops for all your SFH (selfies from home, obvs).
A few pro tips about install:
- Removable wallpaper is miraculously forgiving! You can take it on and off multiple times without it losing integrity (or mucking up your surface).
- I ordered this adhesive wallpaper installation kit with a squeegee and xacto knife and it worked super well. I also recommend a sharp pair of scissors for cutting longer lines.
- This is a two-person job! Get a friend, put on a playlist, and get ready to bond.
- Wild, organic patterns like Tally are great because it's challenging to spot any imperfections in pattern alignment; keep pattern choice in mind if you've got a lot of corners to match up. More geometric patterns and larger shapes leave less room for error (but are awesome in their own right!).
BATHROOM POCKET DOORS
In our primary bathroom, we chose the wallpaper pattern Tally, designed by Kelly Ventura, in White and Navy. In our space, the navy reads as a soft black, which is perfect for the space. It's easy to combine an ever-rotating collection of linens with the Tally pattern.
I love how the white trim becomes the perfect frame around this pocket door piece of art.
My favorite moment in this space is the fact that you actually get a third pop of pattern thanks to our serendipitously placed mirror!
And yes, this one works pretty darn well as a backdrop too ;)
LIVING ROOM DOUBLE DOORS
This set of doors is definitely a focal point of our home. It separates our living room from our primary bedroom which opens onto our backyard. The doors are pretty much always open, but when they're closed we wanted to evoke a fun, nature-inspired vibe. With that in mind, we selected the Lines and Moons pattern by Thimblepress in Green and Brown.
Earth mama vibes up in here! I love how the shapes and colors echo the ferns you see through the windows and the acorn wood details throughout the house.
Love this pattern moment, and xacto-ing out the door handle is def on the oddly satisfying DIY list.
For a pattern lover like me, I love that now I have this instant photo backdrop!
Thanks to Chasing Paper for providing these rolls of pure pattern amazingness. Head to chasingpaper.com to find our own favorites and start adding patterns to your home!
(Wallpaper wingwoman: Kayla Haykin; Photography: Kurt Andre)