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Political Damage Control

The recently concluded election generated way more heat than light, and not just for the candidates in hotly contested races.

If you feel that disagreements over politics may have done serious damage to a relationship with someone you value… someone you really care about as a human being… a friend or family member who just happened to support the other side, now is the time to put aside the heat and search for the light, together.

The election is behind us, so let it go, especially as we prepare for the upcoming winter holidays — a traditional time for reconciliation before we start a new year.

The hardest part may be reaching across the aisle, so to speak. Start a conversation. Let the other person know that you do value your relationship and you would like to find common ground for it to continue. Ask how he or she is feeling, not about the election, but about how things stand between you now.

And when they tell you, listen in an open and respectful manner, without arguing or disagreeing or imposing your own version of events. You have to be willing to hear and accept some hard truths. Ask questions to make sure you understand not only what your friend is saying, but the deeper meaning behind the words. Be willing to share what is useful and true, but let the rest go.

When you can both truly say you approve the message, you can get your relationship back on track.

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