Here we go again. The season of Joy?!? I am hopeful that it is for you and yours. However, it seems like many people have voiced concerns about getting into confrontational situations with family members during this season. One person is a Conservative and another a Liberal. Some individuals believe in Science and some Just Know things. Discussions about opposing views seem to never lead to positive interactions. So, what can be done?
Well, I propose focusing on the simple things. Go back to the basics. How’s the weather been lately? (No, not climate change discussions, just the weather). How is your health? How are the neighbor’s dogs treating you? What are your fears, hopes, and dreams (not politics)? I believe there is common ground here as long as we stick to the non-politicized hype and spin. For instance, we all want a safer world and wish things were less stressful. Stop right there. Just agree on the basic wish and not the details. Then play checkers (or something).
I also propose that you not ‘take the bait’. If a family member puts out a statement or question that you know is going to get everyone all riled up, just ignore it. ay “Hmmmmm…” or even just state you’d rather not have a discussion about that topic. I recently read Brene Brown’s new book, Braving the Wilderness: The Quest for True Belonging and the Courage to Stand Alone. This book is full of ideas on how to be less polarizing. I’m going to read it a second time so that I can really grasp what she is trying to say because some of it was hard for me to take in the first time through. And no, I did not get paid to endorse this book.
Honestly, is there really a need to rehash what your known position is on a controversial topic? In my experience, the answer is NO. But maybe there are some common areas we can get back to. Living at the extremes is not helping any of us feel or do better. Let’s make this Holiday Season less confrontational and more conversational… focus on the small things, like the part in each of us that cares about others. Namaste!
Happy Holidays and Best Wishes to You and Yours.
*heck (just in case you were wondering what the blank letters were in the title)