Can the Five Secrets of Effective Communication Help Us in this Era of Intensely Polarized Politics?
Clearly, the nation is intensely divided, and passions on both sides of the political divide are characterized by hostility, frustration, and mistrust. Can the Five Secrets of Effective Communication help us communicate with colleagues, friends and loved ones who may have radically different political beliefs?
Find out on this edition of the Feeling Good Podcast, as the David and Fabrice respond to Eileen, a podcast fan who kindly allowed us to share her intensely painful conflict with her mother with all of you. Eileen’s mother is an ardent Trump fan, and Eileen is an equally ardent anti-Trumper, and there have been plenty of tears on both sides of the aisle!
“How can you talk to someone with whom you fundamentally disagree? My Mom is a big fan of the current regime (Trump) and I’m horrified by what’s happened in the past two years and what’s coming. It’s hard for me to get past my rage at her. . . intensely distorted and not-reality based beliefs, fed by right-wing media. To be clear, she thinks exactly the same about my beliefs and information sources. I feel so stuck. . . and I would love to repair this relationship with her before she dies.”
Can you identify with similar conflicts in your own family or circle of friends? I know that I can, and it’s quite painful. Fabrice and I will give you our take on a new approach to this widespread problem this Sunday!
While you’re listening, you can take a look at Eileen’s Relationship Journal. You may also want to review the Five Secrets of Effective Communication as well as the three advanced communication techniques we discussed in last week’s podcast.
Let us know what you think after you’ve listened to the podcast!
Dr. Fabrice Nye currently practices in Redwood City, California and treats individuals throughout the world (but not across U.S. state lines) via teletherapy. You can reach him at email@example.com. You can reach Dr. Burns at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you like our jingle music and would like to support the composer Brett Van Donsel, you may download it here.
Hi Fabrice and David,
Another great episode! I really liked your examples of responses using the 5 secrets and, as if I’m anyone to be grading YOU, I’d also give you both As!
Also, I thought maybe I could add one other thing… In the mom’s response when she said “do you know what it’s like to live with someone who hates you”, I thought it would be nice to include in the inquire portion something to the effect of “…and yeah now that I think of it, I haven’t really been in that situation, living with someone that I feel such tension between. If you want to share, I’d like to hear more about what that’s been like from your perspective.”
I’m sure it could be done better, but yeah I just thought to myself in the mom’s question, it could be an opportunity to gain more understanding and empathy by inviting her to share more about that. Maybe she would like to get that off her chest and she would feel heard and loved and valued.
Thanks again guys! I’m hoping to come to an intensive this summer. Can’t wait!
Thanks Adrian, we’re on the same page, good cool, nice Inquiry! Hope to see you this summer! david
Hello David, thanks for your podcasts, always great things to learn and so useful/helpful to put into practice, still a long way to go to master the techniques though haha.
It was crystal clear in this example what to do to have a good relationship with a close one when we have opposite political views.
My question is what to do/say when we want to convince someone/people ? Like for you David, you are pro drug-free therapy (but you also say that sometimes some drugs can be useful). I’m pro drug-free therapy too.
Now, regarding the current concerning situation, I’m not even talking about the coronavirus, I’m talking about politics, social, climate… Like you with an alternative drug-free therapy to overcome depression and anxiety for instance, I’d like to do something to help apply solutions to the current problems.
Sometimes, often, you talk about the death of the ego, acceptance and stopping the codepency narcissism.
But since you help people helping themselves with psychotherapy, I guess there are still actions to help that are valid, meaning not actions that are codependent narcissistic egotic ? Thus, since I want to help things change regarding climate change, and social questions, it doesn’t mean that it is the ego.
I understand that wanting to be right can be a battle of the ego. But since we confront real problematic situations, doing nothing is contributing to the problem. It would be like you doing nothing to help people with their depressions and anxiety, meaning no therapies, no books, no podcasts…
In your case, people come to you to ask for help.
In our case, the one of my concern, we have only one world for all.
It is possible to give up, but I believe it’s also possible to do helpful things. What is indeed a tricky subject.
What would be effective in a psychological way ? I think that using the 5 secrets of communication is still good to not alienate people. BUT I don’t think if it would be realistic to use the 5 secrets of communication to get along with everybody, meaning probably some people won’t react positively even if we use them perfectly. And also my concern is to find solutions to the problems and to have most people to get that, that the climate change due to humans is problematic, that social inequalities are problematic etc etc etc.
My message is quite long and probably redundant in some parts, but I would really love if you would answer to my different points separately, since I think there are nuances.
Thanks David and Team 🙂
Thanks for the excellent philosophizing. I tend to work through specifics–what is a specific moment you want help, and what was going on at that moment. When I approach things in this way, all the philosophical problems disappear, and then get answered. All the best, david
I have returned to this podcast and in particular this episode again and again–and I appreciate it so much. I wonder the same thing Aïssa does: it could start to feel meaningless and also that you’ve lost your voice if you don’t speak up for what you believe in. In Aïssa’s case, climate. So say she is with a Trumper who is saying climate change isn’t realistic because it will hurt the economics of doing business. What would you do? If someone says to you, I’ll try medication instead of your techniques, do you use the 5 secrets in such a situation? Or do you decide that you don’t need to get close to that person and you would rather stand up for your beliefs? This is where I’m stuck!
Great question, but it might be 1000 times more useful if y ou could provide a real, personal example you were struggling with, Thanks!
Okay, thanks! I’ll keep my ears open for the next time it happens.
Tbanks, sounds good! d