Tips on how to survive Inauguration Day — no matter what side you’re on.
Admittedly, this election season has been more tumultuous, than any other in recent history. Sadly, it continues to be.
Families have severed relationships with one another, long-time friendships have fallen apart, and some workplaces have requested that employees who voted for Mr. Trump, leave.
While it is gladdening to see that the people of this country are fervent about the leadership and their beliefs, it is distressing that these same virtues have created a wedge among us.
If social skills, civility, tact, courtesy, respect, and so forth, guided our words and actions, I wouldn’t be writing these tips on how to survive Inauguration Day.
As our 45th President, Donald Trump, prepares to take office, there will no doubt be conversations taking place. Keep in mind that not everyone is comfortable discussing their political views with others; please respect that. (Interesting information on the “Departure of the Outgoing President”)
Here are a few tips on how to get out of an Inauguration Day conversation, especially in the workplace:
- “Thanks for sharing your perspective…something to think about.”
- “Please excuse me, have a great weekend.”
- “I have a strict “no-politics” rule.
- Disengage eye contact, and ask the person next to you, “So, how was that ski trip.” (Change the subject.)
- “It will be fascinating to watch the inauguration. I always enjoy the process.”
For the pro-Trump Inauguration:
Q: “Why should I have to lie or hide my support for Mr. Trump?”
A: You don’t have to lie or hide your support for Mr. Trump. However, depending on the climate of the group you work with or hang out with, you might want to be prepared for harsh reactions. Negative and threatening behavior towards someone because they disagree is immature, discourteous, intolerant, and unprofessional. Lamentably, it is a reality in some cases.
How you choose to respond to potential unpleasant backlash, is up to you. Weigh the advantages and disadvantages to revealing your stance, then decide.
For the anti-Trump Inauguration:
Q: “How do I stop myself from feeling animosity toward my coworker who is pro-Trump?”
A: Did you like this coworker before the election season? If so, there’s no reason to stop liking him/her now.
Maintaining a relationship with someone who thinks differently sometimes requires effort, understanding, acceptance, and above all, respect.
Additionally, if you consider all of the things that you do have in common, how that person enriches your day, or how much you admire their work ethic, get over it. You can even agree to avoid the topic of politics.
I know several married couples who have opposing views. How do they manage to stay married? They’ve agreed not to discuss this year’s election; at least not with each other.
A note to parents: If you are angry about the outcome, take this opportunity to teach your child how to handle disappointment, defeat, and how to disagree respectfully.
Final Thoughts: My fellow citizens, whether we like it or not, it’s a done deal. Calling each other names, unfollowing or blocking each other on social media, or attempting to destroy someone’s reputation, will not change the outcome. All it does is expose the not-so-nice side of our character, ruins relationships, creates bitterness, wastes time, keeps us from enjoying the good things that surround us, and it leaves a trail of unprofessional comments for future clients/employers to see.
If “the President” of the United States of America invited me to the White House, I would be humbled and honored. My parents taught me to respect “the President,” whether he/she was my choice or not.
Here is a “Guide to the Presidential Inauguration” in Washington, DC.
I’m Rosalinda Oropeza Randall, Social Skills and Civility Speaker/Presenter, Media Source, and author of “Don’t Burp in the Boardroom.”
I offer presentations to support HR policies, sales team, managers, as part of the new-hire orientation process, in-home technicians, professional development events, conferences, college/university students, interns. For more information, please contact me.
Photo source: washington.org