Every four years around election season — and particularly this year — the media fills with appeals: Why can’t we just get along? Sure, we may have strong opinions about politics, but that shouldn’t get in the way of our unity as family members, neighbors, or friends.
In an ideal world, that’s true. Yet in the world we live in now, disagreements about politics often evoke our deepest values. Reshawna Chapple, PhD, LCSW, a Talkspace therapist, sees several major types of political tensions show up in her clients’ relationships: either one person is conservative and another is more progressive; or a family group splits into different political factions.
Unsurprisingly, Chapple has also witnessed many relationship disagreements over President Trump. “There have been lots of issues with people wondering why family members continue to support Trump,” she said. “I have seen an increase particularly this year because of fears of repeating 2016.”