The 2016 presidential election was said to be one of the most heated presidential elections to date. Many issues beyond your choice of party were brought to the table including gender, race, border protection, gun control, and money. Any of these topics alone would be enough to lead people to a heated debate. These opinions and views frequently lead to arguments and even protesting around the county. But, how do you cope with this is going on in your own living room?
Most people are immensely passionate about their choice in political party. I was recently in line at the gas station listening to the people in front of me argue of the new President Elect Donald Trump’s policies and thought to myself…there is no escape from this nightmare. Regardless of how you feel at some point we have to accept and move on!
Although it’s easy to look the other way while in line at the gas station its much harder to do so when the argument is taking place in your living room. So how do you handle this? I have had several clients over the past few weeks express their stress over family disputes regarding opposing political views. So how do you solve this problem?
Since the election has come to an end people are either happy or frankly going through the stages of grief. Many of America’s top universities had grief counselors on site the day after the election! I find it helpful to spend some time reviewing these stage.
The 5 Stages of Grief are denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance.
If you are able to identify what stage this person is in and meet them at this stage your chances of blowout are significantly reduced. Rather than stating your own opinions it can be as simple as saying…”It seems like you are really angry about this”. Attempting to sway someone’s view to that of your own is often fruitless and can lead to more stress. So my recommendation is to empathize with where they are in an attempt to change the topic as quickly as possible.