Apparently, election-related anxiety has become so prevalent that it’s become an Actual Thing. In a new survey by the American Psychological Association (APA), over half of American adults report that the election is “a very or somewhat significant source of stress.” Even those who I’d never peg as political, even the most apathetic people I know, even they have vocalized the concern, stress, or just dis-ease with the way things have panned out since eighteen months ago.
Before we go any further, I should say this: I’m not writing this to tell you who to support. I’m not here to make a case for one person over the other. We’re past that. This election is happening, and in a matter of hours one of two people will be our new President of the United States of America. I am writing this to offer support to those who, like me, might be struggling.
Sometimes I can’t believe I’m three decades into elections – seven, to be exact. I remember six of them. I grew up with friends, community members, teachers, even family members who had all kinds of backgrounds and a host of different viewpoints. I sat at tables listening to people argue over politics. I was taught that just because we have different views doesn’t mean we can’t be kind to one another. And if we can’t be kind, at least we can be respectful.
This time around has been entirely different. I’ve seen family members all but disown one another. Friendships come to an end. Actual violence.
So this is happening. How can we fix it? How can we keep kindness, or at least respect, intact?
The direction in which our country goes (and grows) does not start with the President, or any part of the government – it starts with us. From the way we talk to one another to how we disagree to how we manage our own discomfort and dis-ease, it ALL STARTS WITH US.From the way we disagree to how we manage our own dis-ease, it all starts with us. Click To Tweet
I had other things planned for today. But since I’ve got the privilege of being my own boss, I decided to scrap it all and put together an Election Day survival guide. From making amends to standing your ground, here’s how to go high (even when it might be easier to go low):
• A big concern of mine? The aftermath of what’s already been said in the heat of the moment. I’m not talking the politicians. I’m talking US. For some relationships, damage might be done and it might be too late. But maybe not. For those looking to go high (even if someone *cough*yesevenyou*cough* has gone low), I’d love to offer up my guide on how to apologize if you think an argument has flared up that became disrespectful or hurtful – especially if you’re sensitive like me and mistakes hit hard.
• For many of us, there’s still time. These past few months have been polarizing, but if we look closely and choose to listen, we can see and hear that everyone’s POV comes from somewhere deep inside them, usually fueled by an impactful story or set of personal beliefs they associate with who they are. Who (or what) they choose to support is simply the closest thing they can find to express the way they feel. Still, it can be difficult to get past the surface arguments and into the heart of the matter. If you need a primer on how to listen even when you disagree – and who doesn’t? – this post is for you. (it’s also one of the most popular of the last few months. fancy that!)
• Then there are the friends who say things that trigger something deep within you. Something that reminds you of a time in your life you’d rather forget, or a negative belief you’ve cultivated based on years of experience on Planet Earth. And all you want to do is lash out at this person you love. If that’s you – hold your horses. Here’s a guide re: how to respond when triggered by friends. Read first, then make your move. You’ll thank yourself later.
• Speaking of feeling triggered – this guide on how to know if your intuition is speaking or you’re being triggered is crazy-handy ALL times of year, not just November 8th.
•But since we’re talking about November 8th…let’s not forget all we’re fighting FOR. Not fighting against – fighting FOR. Hope was the chant. And it still is.
Was this dose of pragmatic, proactive positivity helpful? Share with a friend to help her out, on Election Day and beyond. And remember – when they go low, we go high. That’s what a WANT Woman does.
Never miss a post. Ever. Sign up + join the WANT movement: