Was listening to radio show host Jennifer Fulwiler with guest William McKenna, a doctoral resident in clinical psychology, family counselor, Catholic, etc...
Fulwiler says she's been muting people on social media fearing she will waste all her time on election arguments, which tend to be very unproductive.
Jen: It's so easy to make some snippy comment in response to something I don't agree with. How do you not?
McK: Conversations, in my view, are fundamentally about education, not about winning. I'm not there to win the argument, I'm there to understand, "why do you say that? help me understand?" .... We build empathy by listening. It's not my job to change people, that's God's territory. My job is just to walk with you through in this journey we call life.
Jen: It's tempting to think "I have to win, I have to show him that he's wrong" but that doesn't seem to get us very far does it?
McK: No it doesn't, look at it this way, when I work with marital couples it's the exact same thing only in a more intense way. The research shows us that in terms of marital conflict about 69% of marital conflict is a 'perpetual problem'. Meaning it's not going to get solved. Meaning if I take a couple at the age of 30, they will be arguing about the exact same things when they are both 80. The question isn't are we going to change here, but are we going to soften towards each other. Instead of getting mad at your spouse when he does x or y, you kind of shrug it off and say, oh that's just Joe or that's just Jane and that's just what they do and I love them in spite of it.
McK: I have friends all over the spectrum. I have friends who are committed Communists and one who is a committed monarchist. And the thing is I don't care about their beliefs, I care if, you know, they make me a better person and I always try to see the good in them. Focus on their strengths and on common ground. Politics is a dead end as far as arguing with family members. It's never worked and never will.