WOW….this political season has created a lot of hurt, sadness, pain and even loss. All these emotions translate into anger. When people are angry they unfortunately do all kinds of things that they often regret later.
There have been many ways people deal with their hurt during this emotional time of the year. Some ignore…some call names…some end friendships, but some try to engage in discourse to understand someone that doesn’t agree with them.
There was a time in the not too distant past where we never knew all the intimate thoughts and biases of our friends. We didn’t know if they were for some obscure political belief or if they liked cat videos. Unfortunately, with the advent of social media we will never go back to not knowing. Now I suppose that you could deactivate ALL of your social media accounts, but that is highly unlikely. So, what else can you do?
There are many ways to deal with pain and anger in this time of upheaval in our nation. Here are 5 things to remember.
You are in control
Did you know that you can only be in control of yourself? Sure it sounds simple right? Trust me when I say it can be upsetting to see something posted that you disagree with. You know if you post a response there will be a fight so you simply stay quiet and stew. Most times what I have seen is that when you respond back it doesn’t solve the problem and makes things tense with this “friend”. Being in control of yourself means you don’t have to post EVEN IF you are annoyed and frustrated.
I tend to think that life is too short to stay uninformed about things. Therefore, I like to ask questions and get more clarity of what people think about a variety of issues. When you don’t stay curious I think you stay stuck. You don’t learn things and you don’t grow. Growing and moving forward in life is something we all should strive for.
This is one of the more difficult things to do. There are classes on how to do it in an effective manner. If you simply read an online statement, fume and then post. You’re doing it wrong. The ideal way to listen is to make an attempt to understand where the person who posted is coming from. While you may not be able to do it easily or right away. Give it time. Start by not immediately posting back. As stated previously actually being curious about the other person is important.
If you have spent anytime on social media you will see that most people have no ability to have a rational or even logical conversation about anything remotely controversial. Any attempt at rational conversation with someone you disagree with often devolves into name calling and meme posting. Once you make an attempt to listen, talk and be curious you may actually be able to accomplish something useful.
Remember you are in control of your life. This means that you have the ability to take a break from social media if you need to. As a competent adult you should be able to have a good idea when and if you need this break. If someone comes to you and suggests you take a break, then seriously consider doing it. While it may seem like a hard and challenging thing to do, it could be the difference between staying happy and content and angry and annoyed.
As most things in life, the emotions and challenges of this season will pass. Soon the holidays will be upon us and then a new year. Life goes on. What matters are good relationships. Don’t let temporary drama and emotion ruin relationships that have been around for years.