ST. LOUIS, MO. (KTVI)- 2016 is an election year in America, which can lead to political arguments in the home.
To help couples navigate the potential difficult topics, Dr. Rachel Glik sat down with the Fox 2 team with tips and advice. Dr. Glik has been a therapist in St. Louis for 21 years.
Glik's website outlines the dangers that political arguments may bring into the home. "How we handle conflict can make or break a relationship. Small things can become enflamed quickly, making the big ticket items even more difficult to navigate. Once the blame train leaves the station, conflict can easily run out of control and take the relationship right off the tracks. The truth is: conflict is normal, and even healthy, for couples. The friction gives us a chance to grow, to expand our perspective beyond the self alone, and can ultimately bring us closer together. It’s our mindset about conflict, and how we approach our partners’ opposing views and needs, that matter the most. "
Dr. Glik's tips to calming tensions over political battles:
1. Restrict the urge to be 'right.' Each partner should have a voice. Wanting to be right is already wrong. There is no right or wrong. You have your opinion and I have mine. It`s difficult to get out of ourselves and really listen to what matters to our spouse or mate. Try asking sincere questions, such as 'Why is this so important to you? How do you feel about this issue?'
2. Listening creates unity; and unity creates joy and lasting love.
Speak with human dignity and respect. Pause before you speak and check yourself. Are coming from love and respect; or judgment and anger? If you can`t have a loving conversation, don`t talk about it.
3. Your love comes first. Remember, the love between you is more important than your views. At the end of the day, our relationships bring us the deepest joy. True caring and kindness, unconditional love and support, investing in the growth of who you love— this is what nourishes our soul. It`s okay to argue about something that you think will make the world a better place, but don`t forget that you love each other.
4. See differences as growth opportunities. We are here to grow, not change people`s minds. Respect your relationship that you are able to discuss your differences. Allow the differing views and needs to expand your perspective, your capacity to become a better person, to be more tolerant and unconditionally loving. The deepest love, the lasting kind, comes when we continually grow our care for our beloved`s happiness, well being and growth.
5. Create a safe haven together. Allow yourself to be vulnerable with your mate and make creating a safe environment a priority. We do this by honoring what each reveals from their inner being without judging or using it against them during times of conflict. Trust is a foundational quality that allows us to work on ourselves—together.
6. Accomplish a common goal to benefit others. Step aside from your differences and focus on what you jointly value. Then together—put your values to action. Our egos can distract us into endless debate about a cause. When it comes to actually manifesting to make a difference, this takes greater effort. A true and everlasting relationship is one where each partner works together toward a goal to benefit others.