STUDIO CITY (CBSLA.com) — As election day nears, so potential political conflicts with loved ones.
Marriage and family therapist, Michael Uram visited the KCAL9 studios Tuesday to show viewers how to navigate conversations and relationships with our polar political opposites.
Politics can highlight core differences or similarities in values and characters, but sometimes the cost of discussing these beliefs can unintentionally shake up relationships, Uram says.
There is no rulebook that suggests couples must agree on political issues, or even discuss their ideologies. Differing points of view are a healthy part of any relationship and as long as couples are equipped with the right tools, they can talk about sensitive issues, such as politics, without a problem.
1. Decide together when and where it is appropriate to discuss politics. If children are present, couples should decide whether to discuss certain issues around them. If you choose to do so, frame the conversation without forming an argument. Likewise, don’t burden guests with conflicting opinions, especially with the hope of forcing sides or having them choose a side.
2. Be sensitive and respectful. A partner shouldn’t interrupt by disagreeing or insulting the other is expressing his/her view. Stay away from using phrases such as, “That’s stupid,” “You’re wrong,” or “How can you possibly think that?” Don’t judge, but respect that your partner may base his/her opinions on facts and statistics or emotions, and all are equally valid positions.
3. Show interest in each other’s point of view. This may not mean agreeing with your partner’s opinions, but listen to his/her idea(s) and try to understand how he/she came to feel that way. Couples may learn that their partner’s opinions have merit.
• To learn more on how to discuss sensitive topics in your relationship, or to find a therapist in your area, visit www.CouselingCalifornia.com.