JOPLIN, Mo/GALENA, Kan. – This election season has created some sharp divides in the country and even among friends, family, and neighbors. However, not everyone is so heated over their views. We talked with an expert for some ways to keep your political views in check and your relationships intact.
Signs, signs, everywhere signs, that’s the theme song of every election year. This year, those signs, the debates, and posts on social media are driving people to points of anger and frustration. For Republican Gerald Gillming, even congress is pushing him to the edge, which he says, seems to be a theme across the country with people’s political views. “You know, difference of opinion, ‘oh I’m not going to do this because you won’t do this’ or whatever, that’s just totally ignorant and stupid to me.”
Gillming says he enjoys talking both sides of the aisle, to make sure he’s well informed. Tonya Richardson is a Democrat, who, just like Gillming, is hoping things change. Her dad is a Republican, her mom, a Democrat, so she’s open to all views. “So if someone who is on the opposite side, strikes a conversation with me, I hear them out, I tell them how I feel, and a lot of times we actually kinda think closer than what maybe it seems to be.”
She says if someone was in trouble, you wouldn’t stop first and ask what party they are, you’d help. “And I think we lose sight of that at times when we are in those political discussions.”
Ivy Littles is a therapist from the Ozark Center, she says it’s all about taking care of you. “Maybe just establishing boundaries and outlaying with some of your friends and saying ‘hey lets get together tonight but how about we don’t talk about this and then if we do, could we have some ground rules with that’ going back to basic, just elementary school rules.”
Littles says it’s important to know what your tipping points are and if you feel yourself getting worked up just walk away.
Littles says it’s the same advice for any situation, at home, at work, or on social media, to establish those boundaries and whenever possible, take a break from it all.