William James College Starts Discussion to Bridge Political Differences within Relationships

By Samantha Higgins November 14, 2016

On Tuesday November 8 the Dean of Students Office at William James College sponsored a Brown Bag Discussion Series that focused on mending relationships during this politically charged time in our country.

Dr. Yousef Alajarma facilitated the conversation, which touched on subjects from dealing with family, friends, colleagues, classmates in regards to political differences, dealing with election anxiety, and how social media has effected this election and as a result our personal relationships and opinions we may have of others.

A conversation on social media interactions and how to approach people after the results dominated the discussion. How to talk to a person who you’ve discovered you have such differing opinions with, and how it is different if that person is a friend or a family member. Is a differing political opinion something to end a friendship over? Another aspect is being able to interact with colleagues, and if we can show empathy and compassion to clients then why can’t we do the same to others in our lives and put aside our differences there?

This discussion was an open forum for people to discuss the election fatigue, the anxieties they were experiencing and their worries about the future, the democratic process, the country, the results of the election, or anything else. It opened the discussion on how it is possible for WJC to bridge the division between groups so all people feel comfortable and accepted. Everyone agreed that no matter who you are talking to, friend, family, client, colleague, it’s important to understand the differing of opinions and not try to change their opinion, regardless of how passionate you are about yours.