To Be Less Polarized, We Must Humanize (with Esther Perel)
Baratunde ends Season One focused on the state of our relationships, a key pillar of how to citizen, and thus the health of our society after the most contentious election in modern history. In conversation with world-renowned relationship expert, Esther Perel, they discuss how to repair relationships in this moment, and how choosing to listen and humanize each other is not only how to citizen, but enlightened self-interest.
Show Notes + Links
We are grateful to Esther Perel for joining us!
Follow her @EstherPerelOfficial on IG or @estherperel on Twitter. or find more of her work at EstherPerel.com.
We will post this episode, a transcript, show notes and more at howtocitizen.com.
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What is your model of relationships?
Were you raised to believe in self-reliance and autonomy or interdependence and loyalty? Do you conceive of yourself as an “I” trying to develop a “We” or the other way around?
Take inventory of the relationships in your life.
Identify relationships in your life that are polarized over politics. Determine which make you truly unsafe that you must let go, then focus on those where you are still committed to some level of relationship and you can still see possibility. In those relationships, make the choice to humanize the person, listen, and find common ground, no matter how small. Reflect on your own behavior and language. Can you acknowledge any responsibility for the state of the relationship?
Examine your own perspectives about people who vote differently than you.
What about your view or beliefs about “these people” makes you fearful? If these thoughts were reversed, would they sound fair or accurate to you? Can you imagine another dimension to one of them as to why they vote or behave the way they do?
Choose to deepen one or two relationships with people who voted differently from you.
Instead of ignoring how a loved one voted, practice engaging through questions, not arguments. Be curious. Remember the question from Eric Liu in Ep 2: “what are you afraid of?” and add “what do you hope for?” and “what do you care about?”
Build and invest in relationships outside of politics.
We need more excuses to connect with each other beyond politics. In our second episode, Eric Liu asked us to start a club, any club. Do it. If you’re already in one or more, good for you. Stay connected to others through the common interests you share. Invest in those relationships.
If you take any of these actions, share that with us - firstname.lastname@example.org. Mention Humanize in the subject line. And share about your citizening on social media using #howtocitizen.
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Thanks for riding with us this season. Here’s the news on the future of this show: There’s a future of this show! We will be making a second season and expect to release it in the first quarter of 2021.
We might drop some special episodes during this transition period for our country and our podcast, but here’s some ways to stay connected…
Baratunde and show social @baratunde on socials. @howtocitizenwithbaratunde on IG 202-894-8844 “citizen”
Send us email or voice memo! on what you’ve thought of season 1 and what you’d want to hear in season 2. email@example.com
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