Campaign tension can take a toll on relationships

Have you blocked anyone on Facebook over this year's presidential election? Maybe you've actually argued with a friend or family member. New data shows you're not alone. Nearly 40% of Americans report election tension leading up to November 8th.

HOUSTON - Have you blocked anyone on Facebook over this year’s presidential election? Maybe you’ve actually argued with a friend or family member. New data shows you’re not alone.

Nearly 40% of Americans report election tension leading up to November 8th.

“People just get, they’re very ugly about things,” said voter Vicki Holzer.  “They won’t listen to other points of view.”

Many voters told us disagreements have erupted in their own families.

“We try to avoid the political question, to some extent, because I’m kind of one side and they’re kind of the other,” said voter John Keiser.

Facebook and other social media fuel frustrations.

They’ve even prompted some to censor their friends and relatives.

“I realize that arguments won’t be settled on Facebook,” said voter Jac Brennan.  “But that’s why they have the “hide” button, and so I hide them.”

A new poll conducted, in part, by survey research firm SSRS found that 37% of respondents reported tension with friends or family over this year’s election.

It found that more men are experiencing tension than women.

“It’s talked about actually quite frequently,” said licensed psychologist David Genac.

”Usually, it’s just the beginning of the session,” said Genac.  “I’ve never had the whole session of people talking about the conflict.”

His advice to anyone wound up over presidential politics is the same advice he uses in his own life with those who may be disagreeable.

“Just say, ‘Hey, I don’t think we’re likely to really change each other’s opinions, and so for us to get in an argument over it is not going to be a battle that’s wise for us,” said Genac.

It’s a civil approach uncharacteristic of this year’s campaign.

“I just remember a time when people could have different opinions and it wasn’t the end of the world,” said Holzer.

“Be tolerant, be tolerant,” said Keiser.  “That’s the thing about this election, there’s a loss of tolerance.”

The survey found that 90% of us discuss the presidential race with friends and family. So, there’s a lot of opportunity for conflict.

 

(© 2016 KHOU)


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