Surviving the Presidential Debate

Hostility and screaming matches with your chips and dip?

How to root for your man without being knocked out.

For some reason, this presidential election seems more volatile and fervent than any other that I can recall.

Is it the candidates who is stirring up this ferver? Or is it society who seems to be less tolerant of each other? These questions alone can provoke a screaming match.

Will you be watching the debates? I heard some people say, “No, I already know who I’m voting for.” While others can’t stand to hear the voice of Mr. Biden or President Trump.

Where will you be watching the debates?  A local bar (if they’re open, and I bet a lot of people will need that drink.), at work, a friend or family’s house, or in the privacy of your home?

While it should not matter, for your blood pressure, peace of mind, and sadly for your safety, here are a few tips to consider as you decide:

1. Watching the debates in a public place or dining establishment: If you live in a predominantly (Insert Political Party) and you are of the opposing party, be aware that your applause may not be welcome. Neither will your negative or hateful comments towards “their” man.

Now, should it be this way? It happens over opposing sports teams. People have been beaten up for rooting for the “wrong” team. (shaking my head)

Naturally, some mild trash talk is to be expected. However, if what we’ve seen on the streets recently is an indication of society’s behavior, good old-fashioned trash talk is no longer recommended.

Tip: Find a bar/establishment that leans towards your beliefs and enjoy the camaraderie. However, if you are a lone voice in the midst of the opposition, consider expressing your support with grace and limit contrary comments.

2.Watching the debates with family or friends: First of all, are you hosting? Are you hosting a debate party that only allows support (or hate) for one or the other? If you have a no-one-allowed-in-if-you-support-“X”, make it known to your guests in advance.

Secondly, if you are hate-filled toward either Mr. Biden or President Trump, and you are positive that everyone present feels the same, then buy some chips and dip, and enjoy!

Thirdly, if you become enraged at the sight of anyone who supports the “other guy,” I recommend that you stay home. There you can feel free to express yourself without contradiction or hostility.

Tip: If you find yourself among friends or family with whom you disagree, and you feel your blood start to boil, here are a few things you can try to avoid combat:

  • Walk away. Step outside for some fresh air
  • Go to another room, breathe and meditate.
  • Have that second drink.
  • Go to the restroom and splash water on your face.
  • If all else fails, excuse yourself and go home.

Don’t allow a debate to end or damage your personal relationships.

Final tips if you want to maintain your relationships and avoid punching someone or getting punched in the face:

  • If someone is threatening you, leave.
  • If you feel like threatening someone, leave.

Are we not capable of having an ardent conversation without ending a relationship?

Related article: 2020 Debate: A lesson in civility?


Rosalinda Oropeza Randall, Civility and Etiquette Expert, Media Source, and author of Keep Your Distance! Your guide to handling common dilemmas in uncommon times.”

W: rosalindarandall.com

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