And you really don't want this to be the deal breaker that destroys your relationship.
Inauguration Day will be emotionally charged for many people in this country.
If you and partner other are on opposite sides of the political coin, here are three things you can do to keep the peace in your relationship.
1. Take responsibility for yourself.
Some people feel incredibly depressed about the outcome of the election. And although it's natural to lean on our partners to a certain degree, we also need to make sure we don't go overboard. In healthy relationships, partners are emotionally supportive of each other but are certainly not the only source of this kind of support.
Author Cate Montana says in her book, The E Word: Ego, Enlightenment, and Other Essentials.
“One of the best ways to defuse Inauguration Day tension with friends and family is to recognize and acknowledge how much of ourselves we have invested in the candidates — how much we’ve personally identified with that person and their positions. It’s not Donald J. Trump or Hillary Clinton who won and lost, in a very real sense it’s us. Realizing this helps us take responsibility for our emotions and gives us the opportunity to dial them down a notch or two (or ten).”
2. Transcend your competitive tendencies.
Our world has become increasingly competitive. Whether it's online tallying up whose Instagram post got the most likes or in real life seeing who can do the most squats at the gym, our competitive nature is part of what drives us to succeed but it can be a burden when it's in overdrive.
Are we driven by our egos too much? The word “ego” itself has a bit of a stigma in our society. But what is it really?
According to Montana:
"The ego is simply our personal story. It’s our sense of individual selfhood based on our genetics and our personal experiences — the sum total of all the knowledge and opinions, beliefs and hopes, fears and dreams mixed in a bag called 'you and me.''
Take a step back in order to become less attached to the idea of winning or losing.
Montana continues to say:
“The ego is so insecure it sets life up as a competition. Then it freaks out and gets super stressed trying to be the best at everything, so it looks good. The issue on Inauguration Day is not about who won and who lost unless we make it about that. It’s simply an event and a changing of the guard.” So, just sit back and breathe and try to take a more expanded view to defuse your inner tension.
3. Pay close attention to your default reactions.
For many women, this election has triggered a profound sense of fear. So it's really important to notice when we are triggered and how we react.
Different people have different default reactions. For some people the urge to fight harder for what one believes it is the default reaction. For others, without realizing it we may become more submissive because we feel our voices are less valued and were not heard judging by the result of the election.
It's important that we don't allow these feelings to permeate our personal relationships. We need to notice if we are behaving differently with our partners because the election triggered us. This may be even more critical if you are on opposite sides of the political coin from your partner.
Montana shared the followed thoughts:
“The ego is the sum total program of our genetics and experiences — all our knowledge, opinions, beliefs, hopes, fears and dreams mixed up into one big brain/thought matrix — just like a computer program. When one partner works to accommodate the other by being quiet about their ideas and needs, they’re simply running an unconscious program that says, “I’d better be quiet about my ideas and needs.” The program might be running in order to keep the peace and avoid unpleasant conflict.”
The first step toward overriding your default response is to step into conscious choice through awareness.
As we become aware that our personal story informs our subconscious choices, we have the opportunity to write a new script. For me, that new script looks like this:
I am an empowered woman with infinite free choice. And, I am safe. I choose to use my voice and platform to better the lives of other women and children all around the world.
Perhaps through conscious awareness of our competitive tendencies and by taking responsibility for ourselves we can navigate this new world.
Additionally, we can use the world climate as fuel to spur on our altruistic pursuits. We can always be the change in someone's life.
Each act of caring that promotes equality brings us a step closer to a kinder, more caring world.
Bestselling author, media personality, and medical intuitive Amy Leigh Mercree counsels women and men in the underrated art of self-love to create happier lives. Check out her website for articles, picture quotes, and quizzes. See what all the buzz is about @AmyLeighMercree on Twitter, Snapchat, and Instagram.