I don’t know about you, but I feel like we’ve been hit with one tragic news cycle after another for the last several years. It’s hard to ignore what’s been going on in our world. As a result, it’s inevitable that something controversial or heavy is going to come up in day to day conversation with co-workers, friends, and/or family.
While these conversations can be productive and helpful, they’re also often completely exhausting. Plenty of relationships have been forever altered as a result of these chats that sometimes come out of nowhere. That adds a new layer of stress to already stressful time – and it’s exhausting.
There’s no foolproof way for getting out of these situations unscathed, sorry! However, I hope these tips will help you navigate the conversations with most of your sanity in tact.
Set Clear Boundaries
Just because you’re invited to The Great Debate About (Insert Current Event Here) doesn’t mean you have to participate. If a topic feels too raw for you or you know someone in your circle is going to have a take that’s bound to fill you with rage, it’s okay to say so. A simple “I’d rather not discuss this” is more than good enough. If that’s not respected, it’s also okay to excuse yourself from the space.
Speak From What You Know
Facts are facts, and despite what some politicians might think, they’re not debatable. Share what you know as truth and be mindful of where you may be less knowledgeable. It’s easier to not get riled by these debates when you know you’re sharing accurate statements. You wouldn’t get mad if someone told you the sky was red, right? Hopefully you’d just shrug and walk away since they’re clearly incorrect!
Bow Out When it Gets Personal
Debates CAN be good! You can learn new perspectives, pieces of information, and maybe even have your mind opened a little bit. But once it veers from the issue to personal attacks being thrown around that’s your cue to exit.
Share Your Feelings
If an issue really hits home for you, share what you’re personally experiencing as a result of the topic. This can be a game changer in really getting people to see another side of things. When we humanize an issue, and see who is directly impacted, we often take a softer stance on the issue. This is something best done in the company of those you trust, so use cautiously!
Part of what makes these news cycles feel so exhausting is the personal level of injustice taking place. Someone’s stance on these issues is a valid reason to want to re-think how you interact with them. These issues do matter. It’s okay to act on your feelings if you are looking at someone in your life differently.
If you’re feeling burnt out by recent events, we’re here to help. Reach out today to schedule a free phone consult with a therapist.