A Psychologist Offers Advice On How To Not Let Your Strong Opinions Isolate You
Many individuals who come to remedy are anxious that the opinions they maintain are beginning to negatively have an effect on their relationships with their family and friends. They ask questions like:
- “Why do I at all times argue with my accomplice about politics?”
- “Why am I discovering it exhausting to speak to my buddies about present occasions?”
- “Why do I really feel like I’m dropping contact with a few of the folks I care about most?”
In at the moment’s world, it’s widespread for folks to really feel like they’re dwelling in an “echo chamber” the place they’re solely uncovered to data and opinions that align with their very own. This may result in heightened polarization and division, inflicting folks to really feel much less related to these round them.
Echo chambers can kind when folks hunt down sources of data that align with their current beliefs and filter out those who don’t. Because of this, they grow to be insulated from opposing viewpoints, and their views grow to be extra excessive. This may result in a vicious cycle of affirmation bias, the place folks hunt down data that confirms their current beliefs whereas ignoring data that contradicts them.
As a psychologist, I can let you know that the non-public relationships you may have together with your family and friends are integral to your psychological well being. It’s virtually by no means price dropping a buddy over an ideological division. Listed here are two suggestions that will help you preserve relationships with individuals who might differ from you ideologically.
#1. Search out various sources of data
A research printed in Social Indicators Analysis exhibits that the place we get our information from can considerably affect our notion of the world round us. As an illustration, the analysis discovered that individuals who largely depend on social media for information have a higher notion of corruption in comparison with those that get their information from conventional sources comparable to newspapers, radio, and TV.
This may be attributed partially to the shortage of management or regulation by established “gatekeepers” in social media, which permits for the presentation of extra sensational and excessive information.
Moreover, social media has low limitations to entry, which leads to quite a few information suppliers catering to particular audiences and their preferences.
As such, it’s important to contemplate the supply of our information and attempt to receive data from a wide range of views. This helps us have a complete understanding of present occasions, be extra accepting of differing viewpoints, and scale back the potential for political polarization.
#2. Observe lively listening
Energetic listening, which is paying consideration to what’s being mentioned and the way it’s being mentioned, is a vital talent to domesticate in at the moment’s fast-paced, technology-driven world the place echo chambers are far too widespread.
Keep in mind that totally different opinions usually stem from totally different experiences, values, and beliefs. Energetic listening is essential to flee echo chambers as a result of it permits us to contemplate various views and broaden our understanding of the world. By actually listening to what others need to say and fascinating in significant conversations with individuals who have totally different opinions, we are able to problem our personal biases and broaden our information.
In accordance with a latest research within the Journal of Constructive Psychology, attentive listening raises the extent of humility in each interplay, making a optimistic suggestions loop between higher listening and extra humility. By being humble and understanding that not everyone will understand the world such as you do, it is possible for you to to have interaction in deeper conversations that foster extra fulfilling relationships that may increase your well-being.
Echo chambers can have a adverse affect on folks’s relationships with those that maintain totally different opinions. In case you discover that your opinions are ruining the interpersonal relationships you take into account essential, speaking to a therapist may help. Within the meantime, attempt to hunt down various sources of data and observe lively listening. It’s essential to do not forget that everyone seems to be entitled to their very own opinions and that we are able to and will preserve optimistic relationships with our family and friends who’re totally different from us.