You could post about puppies or a lemonade stand and sooner or later, it will turn it into a political divide.
I have a theory. Ego.
As much as people claim they hate labels, they don’t. People love labels so much that if these titles were human, they’d be whisked off to Vegas and married in a little chapel by Elvis.
For the sake of this article, I’ll say “we” (but I kinda mostly mean you.) We define ourselves with a variety of tidy markers that make sense to us and others. Liberal, Conservative. Vegan, Paleo. Christian, Atheist. Straight, Gay. Actor, Builder. Mother, Father. Husband, Wife. And so on. Some people even allow their illnesses to define them.
Part of why a breakup can be devastating is because we’ve lost our identity. We’re no longer a girlfriend or boyfriend, stepmom or stepdad. We’re set adrift, left to gather ourselves. We can recover like a party animal or an athlete. Some jump right back into anything, immersing themselves in destructive behavior in order to avoid feeling lost. Others reassess and get healthy by leaving the hurt area alone to heal while working out other areas instead.
I digress. When a discussion on social media about ANYTHING turns political, it’s nothing but ego. This is a person asserting their label rather than “I” into the conversation.
And depending on the tone, it often means, “YOU are the problem. I am not. I am better than you.”
The reason we get offended and engage rather than staying silent and/or rational? Because at some deeper level, we recognize that this person has insulted us. They’ve shit on who we’ve decided we are.
There’s an enormous difference between reacting and responding. Most of us lack the ability to step back and look at the bigger picture in a neutral, removed fashion. We lash out and cling to our beliefs because they ARE us. They define us.
But they don’t have to. It’s a choice. And if my theory is correct, you have the choice to recognize this next time someone turns a casual discussion about buying patio furniture into a split sided political argument.
There are 2 types of people: Those who want to know, and those who want to believe.
Everything is an exchange of energy. Currently, we’re a fractured country and we all know we shouldn’t continue down this path. Too many would rather be RIGHT than happy, which lends itself to the anxious and hostile energy many have been experiencing.
Hurt people hurt people.
If only one person gets something out of this, the time spent writing was worthwhile.
-Written by April Hunter