Limit your ambient exposure to social media, where attacks on a candidate or a politician can look like attacks on you, personally. Dr Stosny suggests scheduling specific times to check the news or your social media feeds. If you interact with relatives or friends on Facebook or Twitter, try taking those conversations offline, where you can have a more successful and meaningful exchange.
Nonetheless, Dr. Jena Lee, a psychiatrist at the University of California, Los Angeles, cautioned against assuming you will be anxious on Election Day. “Humans are pretty resilient,” she says. “Chances are you can cope.”
Have productive conversations with the family.
It will remain important to discuss political issues and issues with those close to you, even if you tend to disagree. These conversations don’t have to be inflamed, even if you’re faced with a jubilant or irritable parent. “If someone is mad at you, you want to see that they feel really hurt and worthless,” Dr Stosny said.
If a family member approaches you with anger, try to respond with compassion. Consider setting a time limit for your political discussions, Dr Lee said, agreeing to a fun, shared activity in advance when your time is up.
It may sound easier said than done. But several experts agreed that instead of debating specific policies, you are better off basing your conversations on values such as equality, justice, and fairness, as well as being upfront about how you feel and Why.
“The most important job we can do as citizens in this gap between votes cast and counted is zoom out,” said Beth Silvers, who co-hosts the “Pantsuit Politics” podcast and co-wrote the book “I Think You ‘re Wrong (But I’m Listening)” with Sarah Stewart Holland. “Do we want every vote to be counted? Do we want to be confident in the outcome, even though it’s an outcome we don’t like? What kind of commitments do we owe each other during this time? “
The political and social divisions between your family members and your peers will not be resolved by this one election, even after the results are counted and certified. But persistent, thoughtful communication can help bridge the differences. “Chip, chip, chip, chip, chip on fact-based conversations,” Dr. Tillery said, “and ask them what they think is morally right.”