Coping with political differences with family and friends

I have been listening to Brené Brown’s new book “Braving the Wilderness”. I like to listen to Brené rather than read her books. They just resonate more for me that way. She talks a lot about relationships in this time of turmoil in our country. She believes that talking to others that are different from us is a good thing. Many of us are in opinion tunnels where we only spend time with people that have beliefs like us. I am going, to be honest; I am struggling with what I am hearing her say. One the one hand I do believe that being around people that are different from us is good for us. We all should be exposed to diversity in people it makes our lives richer. On the other hand, I struggle to be close to people that support things that I find abhorrent.

Right now the country feels as divided as I have ever seen it in my life. Talking about politics with everyone I know never seemed important to me. Now it all feels so critical. It literally feels like lives are on the line and I truly do not understand people that have such different views than I. Brené says we should be curious and respectful and I agree with that. At the same time when I have tried to do that I often feel very attacked from the get-go. And I will admit I do not respond well to that.

Recently I tried to dialogue with a friend about a political issue and was just immediately shut down. What would Brené say to do next? I am not sure. I suspect she would say keep trying to be vulnerable and authentic when I can. I believe she would also say it is also okay to set boundaries if people cannot respond in kind.

What I can do now is to keep trying to dialogue with people that are willing to do so. I am also trying very hard to be very mindful of kindness in my daily life. I try to go out of my way to be nice to those I know need it right now. That is what I feel capable of doing to counter the negativity that is going on. I will also continue to challenge my self to do more. Let me know in the comments how you are coping with this.

Brené’s book link is found below. This is an affiliate link so if you click through I get a small commission.


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