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Politics and relationships: being right or being happy?

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How to talk with friends who have different political views

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In most cases, we try to make friends with people who share our interests and views. We pay attention to a sense of humor, kindness, musical tastes or a willingness to help in difficult times. Moreover, sometimes the political views of friends are very different from ours. Focus on your shared values ​​and learn to avoid talking about politics in order to communicate normally with friends whose political opinions do not coincide with yours. In case of disagreement, learn to correct the situation so that your friendship lives and flourishes.

“Denial of my country is violence”

Nadezhda Eremenko, a citizen of Ukraine, has been working in Europe in an international company for the past year and a half. Born in Donetsk, for her 32 years she managed to live in the USA and Russia. In Moscow, she left many friends and her own apartment. According to her, the last two years of her life she felt uncomfortable because she felt pressure at work, from TV screens, on the Internet. At some point, Nadezhda realized that it became impossible to communicate with some people who were understandable yesterday.

“With my friend’s wife, we see diametrically opposite the future of the country of which we are citizens,” she says. - When this political conflict happened, we first exchanged opinions in a civilized way, then, on Facebook, she began to get personal, and I blocked her. I’m talking with a friend, but the three of us are unlikely to be able to meet. ”

Relations of Hope with parents who live in Kiev, but adhere to a pro-Russian position, have become strained. However, among her friends there are many who chose friendship and privately or secretly declared that "we are no longer touching the Ukrainian issue."

“I am convinced that everyone has the right to self-identification - national, gender, political,” says Nadezhda. - And any doubt about this right, the denial of my country is painful for me. This is a crossing of personal boundaries and emotional abuse. I am for freedom of choice and I want to be respected. "

If we do get together, the topic of politics is strictly prohibited

Family conflicts based on politics are also well known to 44-year-old Julia. She is from Crimea, but has been living in Moscow for many years. Of all the relatives, about 30 people, only the older sister is against joining. According to Julia, the sister’s husband, a native of Lviv, sets up a wife against the family.

“Mom is very hard on this unexpected conflict. Who does the daughter say? It has always been with us, ”says Julia. “They haven't talked at all for two months.” Mom is upset, she is angry. Although she is 70 years old, she is a sane adequate lady, polyglot and scholar. She has her own opinion on everything. ”

Due to political differences, Julia became less likely to communicate with her sister. They almost do not call up. “If we do get together, the topic of politics is strictly prohibited. When I visit them, I’m constantly in suspense: as if to say nothing more. ”

Power acts like an aphrodisiac

“Politics is one of the most interesting occupations,” political analyst Andrei Kolyadin is convinced. - Probably even more exciting than playing in a casino. Perhaps that is why we are passionately watching the battles of the titans, as if we ourselves are participating in the battle. When we see a bright politician on TV, accept his position, and even more so are close by, we identify with him and gain his strength.

We look at television fights as boxing: we isolate a close fighter and are desperately rooting for him, feeling we belong to a brotherhood of like-minded people. But we don’t want to be in the ring ourselves. Politics is always a struggle for power. And if you are in power, you are definitely strong.

I worked in one of the regions, there was a vice-governor under 70 years. Somehow he came with a young satellite. I ask: “Granddaughter?” He says: “Fan. Remember my words: in the world there are three types of aphrodisiacs. The first is beauty and youth, the second is money. No matter how you look, if you have a lot of money, there will always be girls who want to use it. But the most powerful aphrodisiac is power. ”

And I understand what he was talking about. A person who makes decisions that change the life of a region, city, country, as if close to God. You suddenly become above this system, over the beautiful and rich. They look at you with envy, because you have a resource that is valued by both females and accepted by males - for them you are a kind of alpha male.

But there is a second side to politics, it attracts me exactly. While working in the Presidential Administration, during the day I did two or three things that changed the situation or the lives of others. The factory finally paid a salary. Or they managed to preserve a historical monument. I went to work and realized that great things awaited me again today. The load is crazy. But this is such a drive. You get used to it like a drug. ”

“Both of our grandfathers fought, but on different sides”

Galina studied in Poland, then trained in Hungary, in 2011 she moved to Germany to work in the field of digital marketing. She lived in different parts of the country and six months ago she moved to her future husband in Cologne.

“We have been together for a little over two years, met in Berlin, where he came on a business trip. - says Galina. - One and a half years skated to each other. Every weekend one of us ended up at the airport. The fact that we started a relationship at a distance made us talk more and discuss possible misunderstandings from the first minutes, because otherwise we would not have lasted so long. ”

But there were misunderstandings. “We are representatives of countries that played key roles in World War II. Both of our grandfathers fought, and it’s very interesting how this fact is perceived differently in our families, in the memoirs of the children and grandchildren of war veterans, ”says 31-year-old Galina.

On current political issues, the positions of Galina and her partner coincide to a greater extent. “I think it’s all because my partner was born and raised in Germany, he was not affected by the events related to the GDR and the destruction of the Berlin Wall,” continues Galina. - In his family there were no rations, salary delays for months, communal apartments and endless lines. And in my life it was. I am very grateful to my man that he always tries to understand why I see more danger than him in any military operations or the adoption of a large number of refugees. "

In other countries, the situation with mixed families is different. “In France, even if they quarrel, it’s usually not because of politics,” said 45-year-old Lana, a Russian woman who married a Frenchman. She lives in Nice for 4 years.

After each news release, it seemed: war was about to begin

In her opinion, in families where the spouse is a foreigner, it quickly becomes clear whether the couple has a future or not. Here they do not pull with a divorce, if something is not like. And political views, if listed on the list of reasons, are in last place. People either agree on them, or there are irreconcilable differences. “But usually men, even before the wedding with a foreigner, accept her all, with her entire country and president,” Lana notes.

Most of the families that our compatriots create, more often compatriots in Japan, are based on the principle of inequality. “And this is not a tribute to tradition. Rather, our ladies are so comfortable. For their sake, samurai are ready for anything, ”says Tatyana, 45, a“ Russian Japanese ”. Such relationships do not even suggest a hint of political issues.

Tatyana's family was an exception, they discussed politics here. “We thought we could reach a consensus on any issue. But 2014 came, the Crimea happened, she recalls. - After each news release it seemed: the war was about to begin. The Japanese quoted news in vain - the topic echoed in connection with the Kuril Islands. Our family was on vacation in Okinawa. In the intervals between sea bathing and pleasure trips, the husband turned on the TV, from where the Russophobian stream flowed.

I started to panic: my son already had an ambiguous attitude both in kindergarten and at school. I understood that my boyfriend would have a hard time at the end of the summer holidays. Last evening I gave my husband everything I think about the injustice of the charges against my homeland. The husband stared at nowhere and. interrupted me: “Not a word more. Otherwise, we will divorce ... ". Since then, political topics have been taboo for us.

“Look into the true cause of the problems”

Why is there so much politics in our lives and why does it evoke so many emotions? “The human psyche is designed in such a way that belonging to a certain community of people is important for it, ethologists, scientists who study the behavior of animals and people and find common patterns know it well,” says psychologist, blogger Dmitry Belousov. - And they explain this need by the fact that in ancient times, when our ancestors walked in hides and lived in caves, the survival of a person depended on whether his own pack accepts him. As soon as the pack drove him out, the chances of survival tended to zero. ”

Now everything has changed, but the instinct remains. And political strategists use this need and try to attract as many people as possible under the banner of ideology, Dmitry is convinced. What goes through the media is reflected in our psyche. Television was flooded with political talk shows that constantly find out who is right.

If spouses, relatives or friends find themselves on opposite sides of the barricades, they have to choose what is more important for them - family values, friendships, family ties or their own right. “When such things arise in a strong family, where good relations based on love and respect, no policy can undermine them,” says Dmitry Belousov. “But if a certain dissatisfaction has accumulated in the couple, anything can become a catalyst for a quarrel.” A person will not say directly: “You don’t suit me in that.” And political arguments come into play.

Political debate is often a mirror of a person’s internal conflict

But politics is not the internal content of a relationship. Life cannot be filled with it. In my practice, there have been cases when spouses with different political views lived quite happily. ” Disputes arise if the "content" is exhausted. When there is a misunderstanding, when you cannot find a common language, common ground, then you can talk about politics, and about the economy, and about anything - about the fate of people in Uganda, the psychologist is sure.

More often political conflicts are a lightning rod. Recently, the economic situation has worsened and affected the economy of an individual family. When a man cannot provide for his family, he has problems with self-esteem and his role. And if a woman takes the initiative in the material support of the family, then often the man begins to feel uncomfortable. And you need a release of negativity. Therefore, according to the psychologist, it is worth looking deeper into the true cause of problems in relationships and trying to honestly talk about how to solve them.

Political debate is often a mirror of a person’s internal conflict. Understanding problems, realizing their causes and not transferring negativity to loved ones is the best way to resolve the conflict. Sometimes with the help of a psychologist.

“As for disagreements with relatives and friends, you need to understand that no policy will help you if you have difficult times,” says Dmitry Belousov. - Instead of shifting problems to relationships with loved ones, you should think: it is they who can support you when it will be difficult. And isn't that more important than the political agenda? ”

Imagine yourself on your deathbed

A relationship problem should always be evaluated from different time points. There is a current situation when destructive passions and conflicts seethe in a pair. Dmitry Belousov recommends such a simple tool: you need to try to move forward 10, 20, 50 years ahead and look at what is happening now from that position.

As the most radical option: imagine that you are lying on your deathbed and evaluate your life, how it went with you. You remember how you met your partner, how you fell in love, how your relationship developed, how you lived happily ever after, and then you recall the situation that is happening in the present tense, today's conflict.

Answer your questions: is it worth it to react like that now? Is it worth putting politics on one side of the scale, and your relations on the other, and waiting for what will outweigh? What will happen to you if you insist on being right? How important is this relationship to you? And, as always, ask yourself this seemingly banal question: “What do I want: to be right or happy?”