Our country is going through a difficult time right now. This is not a political column. It is about relationships. This country is in serious need of working on its relationships! So, what are things that I, as a relationship therapist, suggest to the people that I work with that may also help the country as a whole?
First, be kind. When we are trying to open up communication with others, we need to be kind. If we are hurling insults at each other, we are incapable of having any effective communication. Think before you speak. You can-and need- to speak your truth. But you do not need to be hurtful towards others when you do so.Second, listen. Hear what the other person is saying. Not just the words, but the underlying message as well. If we are speaking with each other with kindness and tact, that allows for listening to happen. In order for you to listen, you must be willing to lower your walls and drop your assumptions. Listen deeply, not just to the top layer. But the deeper messages as well.
Third, see if there is some room for compromise. For some issues there may not be. You may agree to disagree, but you need to do so with respect, not denigrating anyone! If you are willing to compromise and the other is willing to compromise, amazing connections may happen.
There are a lot of commonalities amongst all. We all want this country to thrive. We have different views of what that looks like. Let’s talk. Let’s come together. That is what will make us strong. Ignoring or subjugating makes us weak. Be willing to talk. Be willing to listen. Let’s truly heal this country.