When there is heartbreaking or devastating news, do you want someone who is a teddy bear or a bull?
Jennifer Aniston famously accused Brad Pitt of not having a 'sensitivity chip' after their break-up. He had made a few press worthy decisions that appeared insensitive and hurtful towards their relationship and to her. How can you determine if someone's sensitivity chip is properly installed?
After a national newstory breaks, such as the recent tragedy in Connecticut, it becomes very common for that topic to become part of our daily conversation with friends, families and acquaintances. Stories that are tinged with political issues such as women's rights, gun control and foreign policy can incite different opinions and conflicting viewpoints than your own.
When you are just starting to date someone, there are ways to keep conversations conflict free. Although your potential plus one may have a stance that is opposing to yours, the key to being able to respect each other's opinion is agreeing to disagree. If his right wing conseravitive opinions counterdict your free loving liberal ways, this does not mean the relationship is doomed from the start. Many opposing parties have come together in union and had successful marriages. The key is to know when to pull back from a discussion that may become heated. It is also important to know that every person has an opinion and deserves to express it.
There are some issues that evoke a so-called normal response. In the instance of Sandy Hook Elementary School, the general emotion is one of sadness, compassion and heartbreak for the victims, familes and the community. But what do you do when the person you are interested in doesn't share these emotions or has no emotions at all?
When getting to know someone, it is important to be able to gauge emotional responses and sensitivity. If these qualities are important to you, every day news stories are a good indicator of how tapped in someone is to their emotional outlet. If you mention the story and the response is equal to your compassion level, there is compatability. However, if you speak about the sadness of the situation and your words are dismissed, lessened or the topic is changed, this is a good indicator that this person is not keyed into current news or to their emotions.
This emotional gauge can carry through to other areas. If he shows more emotion watching a football game and none towards little children, is this something that you can live with in the long run? Or if she is far too emotional that she can't function, is this something that you can live with, as well?
If you are seeking someone who is compassionate to the issues of the world, having conversations about news worthy topics is a good way to get to know someone. Just be sure to follow this advice: respect each other's opinion, agree to disagree and know when it's time to change the subject. Showing kindness to each other during difficult conversations is a solid foundation for a healthy relationship.