This is a weird and emotional time in our country. People are really upset. Or, people are upset that people are upset. It is crazy-making for both sides.
What to do about it?
- The first way to manage angry feelings toward others is to try to get in touch with how they are processing things. The old adage, “Put yourself in someone else’s shoes” still holds true.
Say you believe that the apocalypse is coming. Would you be upset? Probably. Let’s say you believe that the apocalypse isn’t coming but that important things have to be put in place to make this country safe. And pretend like you thought others were trying to take that safety away from you—that wouldn’t feel good either. We are all just human, struggling to figure out what is important in life, and struggling to get our needs met and our beliefs respected.
- Secondly, accept that one can wish other people to be different or act differently. However, we really have no control over anyone else. Therefore, trying to maintain an internal level of peace and “okayness” is all you really have some control over.
- Thirdly, I see any life challenge as an opportunity to learn about one’s self and practice new skills. Do some deep thinking about what life experiences led you to believe what you believe. Think about how you might get triggered when others don’t go along with this. Do you engage with others politely when you disagree? Are you kind and respectful in tone and attitude?
- Be The Change you want to see in the world. Get politically active, join committees, donate to causes you see as worthy. That way, you are doing what you can.
- Lastly, practice making peaceful choices. If you feel agitated when watching or listening to the news, try a classical music station instead. Disconnect from Twitter, Facebook, or restrict the time you spend on these sites to a certain time every day. Pick a time period to do this, like 20-30 minutes. Then, go for walk.
How are you processing the conflict and drama you see from where you are?
Cherilynn Veland is author of Stop Giving It Away, a self-advocacy book for women. Stop Giving It Away is the product of 20+ years of social work and counseling individuals and couples. Cherilynn also blogs about home, work, life, and love at www.stopgivingitaway.com (look for new developments).