Political tensions were high heading into 2020. We already know that the 2020 election results were going to be a decisive event for Americans. However, we didn’t know when 2020 began that a pandemic would escalate political arguments over masks, vaccines, and the economy.
With Inauguration Day approaching, political arguments are bound to increase across social media, news outlets, and even in homes across the nation. As an anxious person, the noise of left vs right politics is a lot to bear. Here’s how I am navigating political tensions surrounding 2020 election results as we head into Inauguration Day 2021.
How to Anticipate Political Arguments at a Gathering
Inauguration Day 2021 coincides with the end of the holiday season. Typically, people are getting back to school and work around this time.
However, COVID-19 holiday restrictions have changed up our annual routines. Many of us adapted our holiday celebrations into smaller gatherings.
If you are heading into a gathering or virtual get-together with a person who is a political news aficionado, don’t cancel your plans just yet. Here are some tips before the event for navigating political arguments heading into Inauguration Day 2021.
Know Your Audience
There is nothing wrong with talking politics. The way our country is governed and the crises we face as a nation is a common bond we all share. However, the difference in opinions surrounding these hot topics can make discussing politics turn into political arguments.
So next time you gather, determine if you want to talk about political news in the first place. Decide if your company offers a safe space for open discussions and ideas.
Ask yourself a few questions:
- Are there people with differing views on left vs right politics attending?
- Does anyone joining your celebration have differing views than you?
- Are these people outspoken about affiliations to political parties?
Knowing the answers to the questions above will help you get into the right headspace before entering a get-together. Then, you can plan your topic points or create good segues to diffuse any political tensions.
Be Upfront: No Political News Talk
Sometimes you just know your friends and family members are going to speak their truth. They become an even looser cannon as current events come up, such as Inauguration Day 2021.
You don’t need to be in Washington, D.C., to feel the civil unrest. Supporters of Donald Trump are widely protesting. They believe that the 2020 election results were rigged and are upset they’re not being heard.
Meanwhile, Joe Biden supporters are celebrating in the streets. Left-leaning citizens are holding signs outside of the White House with signs saying goodbye to the incumbent president.
The media, of course, is there to capture it all, with their own spin. That’s why I’ve been detoxing myself from too much news. The news media and anxiety go hand-in-hand. It’s their job to perpetuate fear and cause you to become hooked to the doom-and-gloom headlines.
1 in 4 people check their phones within one minute of waking up. Political news is being fed to us before our morning coffee. Now, these are the topics fresh on someone’s mind throughout the day.
Of course, the 2020 election results are the main thing news outlets seem to be talking about.
There is plenty of time for people to talk about, listen to, or read political news all day. So, it’s okay to be upfront and request “no-politics” talk at your get-together. This request is almost a necessity for your mental health if you know the people attending the gathering are passionate about left vs right politics.
Be Prepared with Diversions and Pivots
Sometimes it’s best to enter these situations with a little gameplan. Think about ways to get out of political conversations.
One way to handle this stress is to research any noteworthy topics. Scroll through Twitter and see which non-divisive stories are currently trending.
When political tensions are percolating, bring up:
- New Viral Videos
- Latest Celebrity Hookups
- Binge-Worthy Shows
- Upcoming Tech Gadgets and Apps
These trending topics are a sideways step in conversations about current events. They are far less divisive than talking about Inauguration Day 2020. Yet, these are relevant topics to most of our lives.
If current events aren’t your thing, then talk about what you know. Discuss other friends and family.
Talk about your children’s latest accomplishments. Bring up your career or wellness goals. Share a new recipe or activity to try. Just make the conversation positive and divert away from left vs right politics.
Read Up On Events
Maybe you decide that you want to discuss political news. It’s best that you read up on the topic points you’d like to discuss. Misinformation is one of the first sparks that ignite the flame of heated political arguments.
Learning more about political news can help you be informed. That way, if someone disagrees with what you say, you have information and data to back up your claim.
If you know you’re going to hang out with someone with differing views, don’t only read about your beliefs. You are putting yourself in a bubble and closing yourself off to the opinions of others.
These practices will only hurt the connection you’re trying to create with them. Learning about their beliefs can create empathy. In turn, you might have a more productive and honest conversation that is far from the political arguments you imagined.
How to Handle Inauguration Day 2021 Political Tensions
As humans, we all have opinions. Social media has given us a platform to express those thoughts freely at any time. Therefore, you might be subjected to political arguments on the internet or in person.
Control the Conversation
In public relations, reps try to get ahead of the story before it breaks. That way, you can control the narrative. The same tactics work in terms of conversations.
If you don’t want to talk politics, then don’t. Just be prepared to talk about something else!
Remember those topic points we talked about in the previous section? That’s where they come in handy.
Distract your friends and family with pictures of your adorable child or pet, or dazzle them with random facts you learned from a social media video. Keep politics out of their minds, and political arguments won’t come out of their mouths.
Of course, if you want to talk about politics, by all means. Just be on high guard to act as moderator. When you see people from differing political parties starting to bicker, it’s time to divert the topic to one of your bullet points.
You also have this sort of power on social media. It’s called the “unfollow” button. Silence the loudest posters until the hype surrounding Inauguration Day 2021 settles down.
Then, you can go back to following this person, if you still want to stay connected via social media.
Ask Questions and Listen
When we become too comfortable, we cease to grow. While having strong ethics is indicative of a solid moral backbone, it can also limit us. Don’t get stuck in your ways.
When it comes to political arguments, ask questions and listen. Try not to repeat media bullet points and actively listen to what your friends and family are saying.
If somebody says something you don’t agree with, don’t react. Even if they use a racist or misogynist term, bite your tongue.
Instead, try putting yourself in their shoes. While there is no excuse for hateful language, it’s important to understand where that anger stems.
As Stephen R. Covey, author of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change said “Seek first to understand, then to be understood.”
Understanding others starts with being curious instead of just proving you’re right. Ask open-ended questions like “Why do you think that?” or “What aspect are you referring to?” or “How certain are you of this and how strongly do you feel about it?”
Having open discussions is integral in creating new ways of thinking, no matter your political affiliations. Perhaps you can better serve them as a loved one to find healing. Or, with your support, they might change their perspective.
Who knows? You might be surprised to learn something new.
Switch Up Festivities
When things get awkward, it’s important to keep things moving along. Otherwise, it will only get weirder!
If you’re hosting a party that turns into a political scuffle, offer a change of scenery. Bring people into the living room to play a game. Make a field trip to the kitchen to eat some apps.
Changing the scenery might not be enough of a distraction. Perhaps you should limit all chances of talking.
Turn on the music and start dancing. Challenge people to lip-synch dual or bust out a game of charades.
Singing might be against COVID-19 restrictions. So, you might be better off queuing up a movie. That way, people’s spit droplets and opinions stay in their mouths!
You can’t bring out apps during a virtual get-together. However, you can still start a game, change the topic, or break out in a random dance party. When political tensions become thick, be the lighthearted knife that cuts it!
Don’t Take Things to Heart
The 2020 election results impact more than just COVID-19 protocols. Many believe it had lasting implications on the economy, healthcare, and personal liberties.
So, it’s hard not to take other people’s opinions personally, especially when government decisions impact your life.
There are two or more sides to every story. While you might not understand where the other person is coming from, they have their reasons.
It obviously has nothing to do with you as an individual. Otherwise, they wouldn’t be part of your life.
It’s not up to us to police people for their political parties. We need to judge them by how they treat us.
If you’re on a Zoom with this person or are hanging out, then they must treat you well. So, when someone you care about says something you disagree with, let cooler heads prevail. Realize that it’s not an attack on you.
Instead, try to discover common ground with this person. Find areas where you both agree. Discuss topics like the health of your kids or what you look for in a strong economy.
Leave the politicians out of the discussion. Focus on the actual issues and where you both can agree. You will be amazed how much you have in common!
When things get overly heated, it’s okay to walk away. Staying in a political argument will only intensify the situation. In these moments, you might make comments that you regret. Diffuse the situation by removing yourself from it.
It’s okay to clear your head after a debate. Fresh air and sun do wonders for our mood. The sun provides us with Vitamin D, a critical nutrient that regulates our mood. That way, we can go back into the gathering with a clear mind.
If it’s too cold outside, take a bathroom break. Have a drink of water and use deep breathing techniques. In the event a panic attack is creeping up, call a loved one who can calm you down.
Sometimes you aren’t the person involved in the debate. Guests need to bicker and air their grievances. As long as they remain respectful, you don’t need to play peacemaker.
Walk away and let them figure it out among themselves. You’re a friend or family member, not a referee!
Tranquility Labs’ Tranquilene
There are just some occasions where you know political arguments are inevitable. You might have some strong-willed people in your life who will bring up political news, even if you ask them not to do so.
Some might do it just out of spite! Yet, they’re still family, and you can’t get rid of them. So, you must embrace these people for who they are and work on yourself instead. The best line of defense for these potentially stressful holiday situations is to use Tranquility Labs’ Tranquilene.
Tranquility Labs’ Tranquilene is made with all-natural vitamins, minerals, and botanicals proven to promote calmness. The formula is centered around fostering natural serotonin and GABA production.
Whenever we incur stressful situations, such as political arguments, it increases cortisol in our system. Too much cortisol leaves us in a heightened state. We’re always ready for the next jab in a verbal joust. That’s no way to celebrate with your loved ones!
Tranquilene has all of the active ingredients necessary to boost our body’s natural serotonin production. Serotonin regulates our mood, invoking joy in us. That way, we are less on-edge when an off-putting comment comes out of someone’s mouth.
This all-natural supplement is also enhanced with all of the building blocks for GABA. GABA is our inhibitory neurotransmitter.
It helps calm down excited neurons, such as the brain chemicals coming down from political tensions. In turn, we can process disagreements more effectively. That way, we don’t make haste comments in the heat of emotion.
What to Do After Political Arguments?
Disagreements over political news can create a division in social circles. It can cause people to say harsh things that leave lingering scars. Political tensions can also force you to see people in a new light. Here are some ways to handle the fallout of political tensions stemming from Inauguration Day 2021.
Anytime you’re under mental distress, turn to the cheapest resource — your mind. Your brain is what gets your anxious tendencies into this mess. It will also be a tool that gets you out.
Meditation to the brain is like physical exercise to the body. It helps get out stress and aggression. However, it also heals and promotes growth.
Fighting with others (or seeing others fight with one another) is mentally draining. Sometimes the best way to get over this draining experience is to go inward and replenish your energy.
Follow a guided meditation about healing emotionally. Then, journal your feelings. You’ll be surprised by some of your insights. For instance, all of your realizations might be about you, even if you think the other person “is in the wrong.”
Use the moments after meditation to really assess the fallout. Ask “who wins?” and figure out what truly matters.
Also, try empathizing with the other person. If you can’t put yourself in their shoes, then it might be time to rethink their position in your life.
However, these reflections might cause you to see their point of view. You might see the conflict differently after meditation.
Maybe you weren’t as educated about a hot button issue as you perceived. Perhaps, you might even change your stance. Meditation gives you the perspective necessary to be open minded and make educated decisions.
Make Necessary Social Changes
Sometimes, political affiliations and stances on topics can really define a person. You might not be able to change how you perceive them after a political argument. That’s okay.
There are points in life where you need to create distance from others. Perhaps affiliating with them will only cause an enormous blow-up down the road. Maybe their views are legitimately hurting your feelings.
Whatever your reason is, we shouldn’t surround ourselves with people who make us unhappy. So, it might be time to make the social changes necessary to ensure you intentionally surround yourself with positivity.
This advice doesn’t mean to cut everybody out or your life. Each case needs an individual plan of action. It depends on your relationship with each person and what they did to upset you in the first place.
Some necessary social changes might include:
- Unfollowing Posts or Defriending Social Media Accounts
- Limiting How Often You See Them
- Only Getting Together in Public
High-pressure situations can drain your energy. Your body and mind need rest so you can make wise decisions about relationships.
Unfortunately, chronic stress in the days leading up to and after Inauguration Day 2021 can cause an uptick in cortisol production. When we create too much of this stress hormone, it makes less room for other beneficial hormones, including melatonin.
Tranquility Labs’ Sleep-Fast + is a non-habit-forming sleep-aid that works quickly to help promote healthy sleep patterns. This fast-acting spray is fortified with botanicals that promote a calm mind.
It is further enhanced with melatonin to help promote sleep. Elevated melatonin makes it challenging for cortisol to overtake the system.
So, using Sleep-Fast + can improve your natural melatonin production, too. Therefore, this all-natural supplement can alleviate racing thoughts at night and support a full night’s rest so you can make clear-headed decisions in the morning!
Don’t Let Affiliations to Political Parties Ruin Relationships
The world was already divided before 2020. Now more than ever, with all the suffering around us, we should be leaning on each other. Instead, many are still bickering over political tensions as we head into Inauguration Day 2021.
Getting through this pandemic and left vs right politics will take patience, cooperation, and empathy. All of these steps forward begins within.
We must learn to handle political arguments effectively. Plan ahead of any get-togethers so that you have topics to avert away from political news.
Unfortunately, people will still discuss their allegiances to political parties. Inevitably, political arguments will spring. You can’t control how these conversations happen. Instead, control how you respond.
Create boundaries. Learn what you are comfortable discussing and be okay with walking away. Prepare yourself to think clearly by using Tranquility Labs’ Tranquilene.
After the political argument, catch up on your rest. Meditate and reassess your inner circle. You might need to make changes this year for your health and wellbeing.
- Know your audience and their stances on left vs right politics before any get-togethers
- Come up with ways to handle political arguments, such as new topics or activities
- After political tensions, make time for yourself by meditating and getting rest