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Moving Forward: How to navigate political differences

Posted at 10:29 PM, Jan 20, 2021

TULSA, Okla. — Moving our country forward with divided politics is an undertaking that can be handled with simple steps.

Time and patience are two of the needed items.

“When we’re really fired up and agitated, it’s probably not the best time to talk about these real emotionally-charged conversations,” said Dr. Sara Coffee, director of child and adolescent psychiatry for Oklahoma State University Center for Health Sciences.

Dr. Coffey also mentions listening more than speaking is what moves political conversation positively forward.

Meg Myers Morgan, assistant professor of political science for the University of Oklahoma-Tulsa adds, “I think the best method is to stay really curious.”

Morgan said it is important to ask questions. They lead to understanding.

“If your goal is to just understand someone else and not have to constantly be reminding them what your opinion is, which is where we sort of get into trouble," she said.

The top tip is being calm. It also helps children who might be watching those difficult political discussions.

Dr. Coffey said, “I think they’re like little sponges. I think that’s one thing for us grownups to be mindful of. The way we discuss our disagreements in front of our children is a teaching opportunity. I’m hopeful! I think the United States and our current history always has a pathway forward to hope, and hopefully this is a new trajectory and we can come together to support each other and learn from our experiences these past several years as well as everybody else's experiences beforehand.”

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