Many things are happening on personal and professional levels with the pandemic, protests, etc. Another stressor – a risky one to discuss – is politics. Current politics have resulted in people being stressed over polarized viewpoints. People are arguing and losing friendships. How much control does any one person have when it comes to an election? Getting stressed out about things that are outside of our control is easy to do, and what is the benefit of that? Recently I was talking with someone who had friends with different political beliefs. They place value on these friendships, and there was animosity around the election. The reasons each wants one side or the other to win was explored. It resulted in recognizing what each believed was not the opposite; the priorities were different. It meant friends were focused on something that impacts them versus being against something else.
In conversations with friends, when there are different opinions, do we want them to hate us because our opinion is different? Similarly, do we want to hate them because theirs is different? Or do we value each other as a person and have a conversation about it? What is important to you? How do you make this work for you? What do you control? What value do you place on the relationship(s)?
The lesson learned: Talk openly, focus on what is within your control, and continue to value relationships.