Wednesday, January 13, 2016

How to Handle Opinions During Political Year

It's 2016. It's an election year. UGH!

It's that time where I spend 1/2 the time wanting to stay off of social media and the other half looking at (and responding to) everything that annoys me. Yes - I admit it: I'm just as bad as the next one. No matter where you sit on the political spectrum, it's so easy to hear anything other than your views as noise. And to counter that noise, we scream louder.

So what to do to make it through this year and keep all the hair on your head.

I've seen people say we should be able to respect each other even if we don't agree politically. I do have people in my life that I don't see eye-to-eye on every issue, but we still can have civil conversations. It's hard and sometimes you have to declare a politics-free-zone - but you can make it work if you really care about the people.

Here are a few pointers I'll share - may not help. May just be yet another view that anyone else out there has. But for what it's worth...

1) Take some time during the day and shut down the news. I tend to listen to talk radio now and I'll admit to getting riled up by that at times. Turn it off. Turn on music. Watch something other than 24/7 news channels. You might be able to breathe easier.

2) Stop believing your truth is the only truth. We can't get someone to change their opinion because of what we say. AND - it's an opinion! We all have them. Many people were upset that the president didn't mention anything about the sailors that were detained in Iran while doing his State of the Union. Their opinions were more important than why the leader of the free world may have chosen NOT to bring it up on the air. There are two sides to everything that stop for a moment and consider that perhaps your truth may not be the absolute in every situation.

3) You want to share that Meme or that are chomping at the bit to hit share on social media. Double check your facts 1st...find it on another site. Check the dates. Make sure you're not part of the problem by sharing wrong information across the internet.

4) Is it personal or is it not? We all have hot-button issues that make us feel personally attacked by someone. Perhaps they really aren't coming after you - they have their own issue and the fact that a certain candidate doesn't share their views makes them want to pounce on anything that candidate does. It's not your mom or dad in the line of fire so breathe before responding. (Your favorite candidate doesn't always need you to stand up for them.)

5) Throw out my suggestions and start a civil war! Because sometimes, that's where I feel we're heading. America is fighting among their own parties as well as across party lines. So if it makes you feel better to lash out anonymously to someone it! (I'll admit that I tweet to certain political people and often times...I'll delete it after the fact. If only I could count to 10 before hitting the POST button.)

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