Wow, we have just a few more days until Election Day and it has been a trying time. Blog posts, articles, TV news, radio–it’s been next to impossible to get away from it all. And honestly I haven’t tried. I’ve indulged in it, I’ve read it, I’ve even written about it.
And it’s taken a toll on me as I know it has on others. Well, for this home stretch (and beyond) I decided to do one of those weird exercises and I wrote myself a letter.
Sometimes when my own temper is close to boiling and I’m feeling overwhelmed it can help me to separate. Writing myself a letter is one way to do that.
I’m including my attempt below. Thanks for reading.
If you find yourself wanting to learn some ways to get in touch with those overwhelming feelings and learn to have them guide you instead of control you, please shoot me an email here and we’ll schedule a free 15-minute consultation.
In this week before election day it’s important to remember how many people do not agree with you. There is indeed a way to connect with others, engage them in good conversation, and not be vindictive or smarmy.
Remember to listen to friends and family. Remember to not shy away from being angry. Anger is ok–you tell clients that every day. You’re passionate about many issues and everyone’s feelings, including yours, are layered; any one passionate feeling is not a full sense of a person’s identity.
It’s important to not let something go just to “keep the peace.” Confrontation doesn’t have to be confrontational.. Silence is not needed when you hear something that riles you. Your voice, your ideas, your intelligence, your pure, raw feelings are valid and should not take a backseat when in social situations.
Once this election is over everyone will still have those same beliefs. No matter the outcome, the relationships made during this time and after are incredibly important. Don’t forget that all those people will still be in your life. While taking care of yourself, don’t forget to continue to establish connections and move forward in a greater sense of your beliefs and self, and with a greater sense of how others move through the world.
Justin Lioi, LCSW is a men’s mental health and relationship expert. He is a Brooklyn therapist (as well as also seeing clients online throughout New York State and internationally.) He received his degree from New York University and has been working with men and their families for over 10 years. Justin is on the Board of the National Association of Social Workers and writes a weekly column for the Good Men Project called Unmasking Masculinity. He can be found on local and national podcasts talking about assertiveness, anger, self-compassion, all with the goal of becoming the man you want to be.