It’s Election Day in the United States. Despite it being a midterm election year, it seems to me that ways in which we are being inundated with candidate messages – through TV commercials, yard signs, robocalls, text messages, canvassers, rallies, and the like – is at the highest level I can remember. And… it seems the rhetoric has never been nastier, more hateful, or more polarizing.
Okay, okay… we don’t have to agree on the issues or the politics or the people. Yes, these are important topics, and we all feel strongly one way or another. I wonder, though, can we set aside the ugliness and get back to treating others as we wish to be treated?
In its “Hygge Manifesto” (i.e., platform for togetherness), Copenhagen-based Happiness Research Institute includes the principle of “Truce” in which we agree to set aside the drama and discuss politics another day.
So, what do you say? Can we call a truce? Here are a few ideas for interactions with people with whom you might not agree:
- Assume the best in others. Despite our differences, decide that people have the best intentions at heart. Start there.
- Seek to understand. If you disagree with a colleague, friend, family member or neighbor, ask them about their perspective; discover their “why.” Nobody says you (or they) need to change your mind, but you’ll have a better appreciation for one another if you learn about your various – and divergent – perspectives.
- Lead with civility. If you know you cannot have a civil conversation with someone on a particular topic AND if that person is important to you, perhaps don’t bring up that topic! Allow cool heads to prevail. Indeed, save the politics for another day.
Now… Go vote! Happy Networking!