Health Care reform issues continue to generate polarized opinions and spark confrontations. Even as President Obama reveled in defeating opposition on health care, he admitted that he hasn’t succeeded in breaking down partisan gridlock and changing the tone in Washington as promised before his election. He said, “It hasn’t changed. Yet.”
But now that the Health Care bill has been signed into law, it’s time to figure out how to work together. The following tips can benefit all kinds of relationships – political ones as well as your own:
Minimize emotional overload. Feeling flooded or overcome by emotion can lead to the ‘fight or flight’ response. Agree to stop arguing and postpone a difficult discussion until you are both calm enough to listen.
Distraction can be a powerful defense. Take several deep breaths, release any negative feelings and develop thoughts about the situation that are more constructive.
Pay attention to the conversation without planning a rebuttal. Try to be empathic and ask questions that can lead to greater understanding. Look at the issues from a perspective that may be quite different from your own.
Sometimes you do know what’s best, so take a stand and hold your ground. Practice patience as the other side begins to appreciate your point of view. Then you’ll be in a better position to negotiate a compromise or a mutually agreeable solution.
Instead of immediately fighting back the next time you face what could turn into a hostile interchange, modify your approach. Grow from these experiences as you take the opportunity to turn negative feelings into positive ones, teach or learn a life lesson, form a growing connection.
As members of the Sandwich Generation, learn more about growing from experiences by signing up for our e-book,Courage and Lessons Learned , to the left of this post.