Counselor911 Offers Advice to Ease Heated Election Discussions
By: Debbie Harris, MA, MS, LPC
Counselor911 has aired programs in 22 countries in the Caribbean, as well as New York, New Jersey and Connecticut. Local therapist Debbie Harris, MA, MS, LPC anchors and hosts The Counselor 911 show, which features expert panel guests, including psychologists, therapists, counselors, addiction specialists, doctors, spiritual leaders, and others, discussing real problems and issues from guests, as well as real solutions and answers.
"Many people are feeling really stressed out because of political discussions at work or discussions at gatherings with friends," said Debbie Harris, chief executive officer of Counselor911. "In some cases, people are becoming less productive or have experienced negative consequences from a heated election discussion."
1. Respect Their View and Experiences – Sally walks into the break room and Jim is getting coffee. Jim immediately starts ranting about the latest coverage of Hillary's actions as Secretary of State. He demands that Sally support Trump and begins detailing every reason why Trump should be President.
At work, removing yourself from this situation isn't possible. How do you handle this situation?
Some people just like to debate. Others don't like discussing their views publicly. Some people want to influence their position or persuade others to agree with them and are driven by debate (like Jim). Debate is OK, as long as there is respect. It is important to keep a mindset of understanding when these conversations happen without being discourteous. We all have different experiences and validate our perspectives through the experience. We need to recognize life through different lenses. The answer to this workplace-related scenario: Sally should prevent a clash and leave the break room and not say a word.
2. Attempt to Stay on Neutral Ground – By leaving the room and not participating in the conversation with Jim, Sally has remained neutral. She did not challenge Jim's view.
3. Minimize Social Media Exposure – Some people are obsessed with social media and its coverage of this year's election. Nancy checks her social media every hour and shares her findings with her connected friends multiple times per day. Paul is connected to Nancy and feels like he is drowning with Nancy's frequent posts. Paul strongly disagrees with Nancy's view. How should Paul proceed? The answer to this friend-related interaction scenario: Paul understands that there is a time and place to discuss his views. He decides to stop checking social media and contact her tomorrow to setup a face-to-face meeting to discuss his views. If Nancy is not open to such a meet-up, Paul should not post anything about her posts; he thus prevents a further clash.
As a State Board Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) in Texas and a Certified Christian Counselor, Debbie Harris is a respected psychotherapist, an acclaimed television host, and an author of Mind ~ Body ~ Soul ~ Spirit, a book that addresses why people have harmful habits, insecurities, stress, painful emotions or depression.
"I am committed to work with you on everyday problems or complex issues," Harris said. "The more you know about your real self, the more you will initiate change, reach your goals and attain your ideal self." Counselor911 is dedicated to addressing real problems with real answers and solutions as a source for complete healing. Call Counselor911 at 832-229-0722 to discuss resolving conflicts in your workplace or close relationships with Debbie Harris. Or, visit her business page on Facebook at Counselor911 (https://www.facebook.com/
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