“Beloved friends, Justices Scalia and Ginsburg, disagreed on every Supreme Court decision. However, they said about their relationship, we are different; we are one.”
– Jeanne Safer, PhD
As a Life Coach, I rarely have a reason to discuss politics with my clients, unless it is interfering with their coaching goals. However, in today’s politically charged climate, divisive political views are destroying many valuable relationships. This is contributing to a great deal of personal pain, anger, sadness, aloneness, and conflict. Each one of these can create ill health and affect our creativity, productivity, and overall peace of mind. Those affected often include partners, family members, and friends. Where to turn for healing? This is a real challenge!
I, like many of you, have experienced political division in my family. Like you, I go back and forth trying to keep strong these valuable relationships by not venturing into political discussions. This is not always easy.
Looking for answers that are practical and positive brought me to the inspiring book, “I Love You, But I Hate Your Politics” by Jeanne Safer, PhD. In this bestselling book, Dr. Safer brings real personal examples of relationship challenges due to politics. As a Psychologist, she offers deep insights and workable solutions. The self-analysis she recommends is powerful and can be very personally healing for us and our relationships.
I will be devoting the remainder of this blog to insightful quotes from her book. Working with these quotes can actually help you begin to move toward creating healing in this part of your life. However, I do suggest that you read her book yourself and share it with those in your life, who could benefit from this as well.
QUOTES from this remarkable book…
“Intimate relationships in America are in crisis as never before, and partisan politics is the reason… Family gatherings have become minefields.”
“Unfriending on social media has reached epic proportions. NEW YORK TIMES research polls have reported that 27% of respondents have blocked or unfriended someone just before the 2016 election. These numbers continue to escalate ominously. Erasing a relationship has become an acceptable way to disagree.”
“The political has become the personal, making lovers and friends from different party affiliations a vanishing breed.”
“Online hostility gives people a false sense of power over people who hold different views. Research has shown that it is very rare to change another’s political beliefs through negative online statements or photos.”
“Several people, I have interviewed, have actually been unfriended on social media by their parents, ended romances, or unfriended their siblings in reaction to online content they deemed offensive. This has become disturbingly normalized. Broken bonds can become tough to repair, even if you have second thoughts about your negative posts.”
“One in ten couples are ending their relationships because of politics. These political rifts are part of virtually everyone’s experience in their intimate relationships, with family, or with friends, and the list of casualties keeps growing.”
“People who share one’s politics do not necessarily share one’s values. Politics can blur us to what really matters.”
“Self-analysis, looking at your past as well as your present, can be very helpful in understanding yourself and why you need others to see the world as you do. Opening yourself up to others, as well as looking within yourself, can help you find compassion, empathy, honor, and loyalty in all your relationships. You can only realize this when you go beyond politics.”
Finally, Dr. Safer advises:
“for those people in our life who may see the world differently, think about what you love and admire about them, and tell them!”
Interested in how a life coach can help you? Contact me and let’s set up a time talk today!