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Many believe you should never talk politics or religion with friends or family. For people passionate about change…that is mighty hard. This holiday season, it is inevitable that the 2016 election will come up with millions of families. How can you survive this experience? Here are three tips:
Disengage: Breathe in. Breathe Out. You know your situation and your family better than anyone. Do you really believe that engaging that relative pro-actively or reactively is going to change anyone’s mind or not ended up in tempers rising? Consider resisting the temptation to engage or stepping away when it is brought up. Family is family and holidays should be enjoyable.
Feel Empowered: For those who don’t want to “agree to disagree” and want to feel more empowered, consider telling your personal story and not letting it escalate. Is there a way to explain calmly that elections have consequences for actual people—people like you, people who are minorities? Tell the story of an LGBT, immigrant, Muslim or disabled person you know and maybe just maybe you will feel more empowered that you planted a seed of empathy.
Find Common ground: Think about values instead of positions or candidates. We all share similar values even if our actions demonstrate contradictions. Nearly all people support fairness, liberty, public health, a clean environment, caring for the less fortunate, etc. Center conversations around values. If you take up all the moral high ground, you leave little room for people to stand with you.