Is Avoidance Healthy?
But, is it
to close down dialog by avoiding controversy? What does it do to relationships? How does it influence decisions and results?
When talk of politics and its influence is cut off, there is no room for understanding and the ability to reach some meeting of the minds to find solutions that satisfy the needs of the people involved, if not all their wants. Avoidance may be effective as a short-term way to keep the peace. Family gatherings can become battlefields. Co-workers may spend more time arguing about politics than doing work. Some say, "minds are not likely to change so why bother talking about it."
Judgments about other people's beliefs can lead to disrespect and disregard.
Open to Alternative Views
Alternative beliefs and opinions and fact-checking may be taken as attacks or ignored.
Differences are not explored. Each camp sinks further into its beliefs.
This may be healthy for those that profit from their uncontested
. But, it is not healthy for the individual or for society as a whole. In the long term, avoidance undermines relationships and deepens divisions.
What to Do
Avoid? Confront? There is no easy answer.
It's about relationships, after all. And, relationships are complex. They do not lend themselves to black and white, one size fits all rules.
It is about one's perceptions - how comfortable is confrontation and conflict? Is there fear about losing the other person's love, support, or respect? Is there a belief, founded or unfounded, about one's own or the other person's ability to engage in a rational dialog, without angry outbursts?
Cultivate Mindful Awareness
It seems that the thing to do is to cultivate one's own mindful awareness and heartfelt sense of openness to the other.
What is the felt sense of the situation? What does your instinct; your sense of the
of the situation tell you? What is your intention and purpose? What is at risk and what are the rewards? How will engaging or not engaging effect the relationship?
Assess the situation and then decide whether to engage, sit back and have another drink together, or leave.
Be aware of your own frustration and righteous anger. Be careful about your judgment of the other side's intelligence and motivation until you compassionately understand where you and they are coming from.