This week, a new treasure for you, a brand-new Living Room Conversation, “Relationships over Politics: Connecting with Friends and Family.” Click on that link to be taken straight to the Conversation! But if you’d like to learn more about it first, keep reading.
Our Contributing Partner Gayle Yamauchi-Gleason, PhD. created this new Conversation inspired by the “holiday guide” we first offered last Thanksgiving to help you have more peaceful times with friends and family. I interviewed Gayle for this issue:
What’s the occasion? Why this new Conversation?
My local Living Room Conversations organizing group had a booth at an election-related event last month. The vast majority of the people who stopped by wanted to talk about how much the 2016 election and its aftermath had strained their family and friend relationships.
When I heard this, I thought, wouldn’t it be great to create a Living Room Conversation on this very topic. This would allow participants to engage with others who may also be struggling with talking about politics or divisive issues with those they love.
One thing I’ve come to realize as an educator is that we don’t learn from experience, we learn from reflecting on experience. One beauty of Living Room Conversations are that they have reflection built right into every round of the Conversation.
This new Conversation Guide is not about getting or giving advice, but learning by speaking and by listening deeply to others’ experiences of what’s gone well and what hasn’t in talking about potentially divisive issues with family and friends. We often forget there are at least 100 possible brilliant approaches to any given situation! Most of us get stuck in trying the same thing over and over; and wonder why it isn’t working: “why doesn’t it work when I call Uncle Fred a bigot, or my long, lost sister Chloe a snowflake at the Thanksgiving dinner table?” This Conversation helps us “crowd-source” new ideas, if you will. No matter what the results of the midterms, we will need to continue to reweave the fabric of our civic lives, one family dinner at a time, for some time to come.
PS: Living Room Conversations are always free! Donate here to help us offer them.