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Election 2012: Tearing Friends and Families Apart One Facebook Post at a Time

Election years have a way of bringing out the worst in so many of us. We believe strongly in our viewpoints and become angry when those beliefs that are so important to us get challenged. We experience extreme stress and anxiety when someone we value doesn’t share our point of view. Elections are important, but they seem to bring a whole new level of hostility.

I get it. We should be passionate about the things in which we believe. We should work hard to explore and possibly change the things we don’t. After all, we are lucky enough to live in a country where we can speak freely and advocate for the issues and subjects in which we are so devoted. We get to have an opinion. We get to have a say (even if it’s a small one).

On the other hand, some of us may take this opportunity to a different level. We find ourselves verbally bashing our friends and families in the name of the cause. We forget that at the end of the day, we value each other (and probably established these relationships on something other than our political viewpoints.) We forget that just because we may have different ideas, it doesn’t make anyone less valuable or important.

It’s important to remember that everyone is shaped by their backgrounds and surroundings. Our experiences helped us develop our convictions, and no two individuals have been through the exact same situations and life circumstances. Our ideas, views, and beliefs are a cumulation of all of this. The way we experience the world has a direct impact on how we think our country should grow and change. We often feel that people should believe the way we do but forget that their lives and struggles may have and still be very different than our own. Our own struggles and challenges tend to shape our feelings about what we think the world should feel is important. While this is not bad or wrong, we should keep it in mind when interacting with others about the political race. Valuing the people you have chosen to be in your life shouldn’t stop based on which box they will check on election day.

So whoever you choose to give your vote to on Election Day, try to respect that your friend, neighbor, family member feels just as strongly about his or her own candidate. Just because someone in your life chooses to be on Team Romney or Team Obama does not mean they should lose your respect, love, and support for him or her as a person. Your relationship was strong before this election, and it can be long after. Let’s just all try not to do damage that is hard to recover from in the name of politics. Whatever the outcome, you will continue to live your life and need the support system you have worked hard to develop.

Now exercise your right, and go vote!

(If you’re finding yourself unable to shake the anxiety and stress your experiencing, working with a counselor could help. The therapists at Noyau will work with you to find peace in an everchanging and news rich world.)

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