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Keeping Political Conversations Civil But Real During A Contentious Election Season

Gabriel C. Pérez/KUT
Central Texas certified life and relationship coaches Juncie and Rock Rockman say one way to help relationships weather political differences is to set aside "politics-free" zones to provide a break from what can be contentious conversations.

There is an old adage about conversations to avoid in "polite company." Politics and religion top that list. But given what is in these news these days, that is not really possible. So, is it possible to keep things civil while agreeing to disagree about politics?

Sure, say Central Texas life and relationship coaches Junice and Rock Rockman. They are certified by an International Coaching Federation- accredited program.

They say it is understandable that the topic of politics generates passion and conviction. "We very much tie in our opportunties, our lack thereof, our disadvantages, for ourselves as well as the next generation" with politics, says Junice. "There's something about the political realm that also speaks greatly to morality, and what we believe or see as being right or wrong, fair or unfair."

The Rockmans say attempts to change people mind's about their tightly-held believes will not likely succeed. They say trying to do that will lead to frustration, anger and fractured relationships.

"The best methodology to keep things at peace, to keep things in respect, is share your truth, allow them to have their truth, and move on from there," says Rock. Junice advocates for listening more closely than most people do.

What if the "other side" holds completely unacceptable beliefs? Junice says accomodating those choices and relationships necessitates a larger-scale decision about how one leads one's life. She says that can include "letting go of anger, letting go of fear, letting go of judgment, letting go of the need to control."

Listen to the Rockmans' conversation with KUT for a further discussion about how relationships can stay intact under the duress of political differences:

Jennifer Stayton is the local host for NPR's "Morning Edition" on KUT. Got a tip? Email her at Follow her on X @jenstayton.