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Reaching Across the Aisle

Last week I discussed politics, parenting, and polarization.  Today I’d like to make suggestions to politicians, couples, and parents who desperately need ways to work together.  For starters, stop the endless “blame game” and assume a solution-based focus.  Blame is simply a lose-lose proposition.  Making the courageous choice to change ourselves will lead to improving our relationships.  Typically the more emotionally mature person will initiate efforts towards resolution.  So how do we work as a team and remove our need for complete control?  It begins with respect for the other person and believing that everyone wants what is best for the child, marriage, or country.  Teamwork requires cooperation, compromise, and compassion for those who think differently.  Appreciate each other’s differences without discounting or invalidating contrary opinions.  Maybe even consider arguing the opposing side for a few minutes to better understand their position.  Voice your thoughts and feelings respectfully, acknowledge each others position, and negotiate viable options.  Take the time to consider possible compromise solutions and then agree on a resolution.  Work on being flexible, open, and tolerant of each other’s opinions.  Lastly, remember that your goals and objectives are the same; having a healthy and loving marriage, having responsible and respectful children, and having a strong and unified government.  While I acknowledge accomplishing compromise and teamwork is very difficult, I believe it is possible. We are more effective, influential, and successful in life when we learn to work together and value our team.

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