How to navigate politics with loved ones during this election year
I don’t think I’m going too far out on a limb to say that this year’s election is perhaps the most intense in anyone’s memory.
And, let’s be honest, navigating a political conversation with your spouse, your friends, or your co-workers can be so polarizing, emotional and divisive that many are just steering clear of the conversations all together.
And, frankly, that’s probably for the best. Most of us have been taught from a young age to avoid speaking about politics and religion in public.
Politics and relationships, Should we “Agree to disagree?”
When counseling couples and families we often come upon topics that are just too hot and to triggering to address. The “agree to disagree” stance is the wisest course.
This is especially true for politics.
But, the truth is, few of us are prepared for political conflicts with our romantic partners or close friends. Maybe you’ve had a relationship derailed by discovering that the other person is – to YOUR mind – utterly misguided and misinformed about what’s going on in Washington and in the voting booth. It’s so frustrating that you have to ask: is it possible to love someone profoundly, yet strongly disagree about the direction of politics?
The answer is, of course, yes. But, it does require deep and open communication.
And, here is the basis of it all: when it comes to politics and relationships with loved ones: You're not going to change the other person. Research shows our political views are formed, in part, by genetics, personality, our family and the community we grew up in.
So, remember this: authentic sharing of opinions can and will build bridges. Respectful and active listening, responding with non-inflammatory language, acknowledgment of differences, and clear boundaries are crucial.
If you need help navigating the political waters between now and November…and beyond!...give Foundations’ counselors a call today!