Feel Your Best Tip: How to Handle Your Politically Divided Family
3/20/17 — My family is politically divided, and that causes some problems.
I know I’m not alone. So here’s what I’m trying to do: chill out on being sure I’m right.
It is good to be committed to ideals (peace, justice, freedom, etc.), but I’ve been sabotaging those causes by clinging to my perspectives. That’s blinding me, and enticing my loved one to cling to the other side.
So I’d like to try the opposite. This takes letting go of closely-held beliefs and listening, without criticizing or needing to convince. I have to remind myself this, but it doesn’t actually matter if we agree. What matters is how we treat each other.
This intention to be open-minded can be painful, but it inspires self-respect and it can change the tone in our homes, maybe beyond.
I think what we see in politics (anger, fear, disagreeableness…) is a macrocosm of what happens within ourselves and our smaller, interpersonal relationships.
If we can start to heal in this context, our own situations will improve and maybe we contribute to the greater solution too. It’s the old “be the change you want to see in the world” idea. Definitely worth a try.