We’re increasingly bombarded with politics. Does it make your life better? Escape the trap and learn these 4 ways Politics makes you miserable.
I’m hesitant to post this one because so many get so worked up over politics. I’m new though. Time will eventually bury this post behind other posts by the time I’m Internet famous. Unless it goes viral. Then I’m in trouble. I have to post it, though, because I really believe that politics makes you miserable.]
I learned to just not even participate in political discussions. Everyone ends up offended, mad, frustrated, exasperated, dumbfounded, dumbstruck, or just dumber.
But never Dumbledore.
4 Ways Politics Makes You Miserable
- Politics is dividing us
- Politics is making us more negative
- Politics makes us more dependent
- Politics makes us dumber
Individually and collectively, politics is making us miserable.
Why Do We Argue About Politics?
Nobody really wants to have a discussion; they just want to make sure you’re smart enough to believe the same thing they do. We’ve lost the skill of discourse. Somewhere along the way, politics (and religion) became taboo topics of discussion.
We got out of practice. The result is that we can no longer discuss politics; we can only argue. Everything gets offended, gets outraged, or gets the feelings hurt. Friends split. Families cut ties. Then for trivial and petty differences of opinion, politics makes you miserable.
Here is something to remember when tempted to squabble.
When Was the Last Time Someone Thanked You for Proving Them Wrong?
“No one has ever been thankful to me for proving them wrong.”
– Shayne Seymour
Politics is Dividing Us
Politics is ruining our relationships.
So there it is first. Politics is ruining our relationships. It’s driving wedges–not only between different races, religions and social classes–but between family and friends.
Do you have a loved one with whom you used to be close, but you no longer spend any time with them because all they ever talk about is politics? Perhaps you had a disagreement that led to a heated discussion. Is one or both of you still upset about it?
Do you want to know something sad?
The Politicians and Pundits Love It That We’re Divided
As long as they keep us divided amongst the two sides, their jobs are safer. Each side knows that as long as they’ve got the 30 percent or so on their side, their jobs are secure. That sounds like a conspiracy theory.
We, the real people, are left bickering in between. Let’s stop letting them do that to us.
Politics is Making Us More Negative
The candidates would like for you to believe that…
- The entire country is in a mess.
- Our sovereignty won’t survive four years of the other party’s policies.
- We are on the verge of economic collapse.
- The air we breath will become unbreathable by the time your children graduate, and
- The water we drink will either run out or become undrinkable by the time Captain Marvel 2 comes out.
- The terrorists are taking over.
- They’re sneaking over on drones.
- Oh, and by the way, the drones are taking over.
- AI. It’s basic science.
And only they can save us. Although it’s just a rehash of the last candidate’s plan, their plan is the only way the world can be saved.
I’m Shayne Seymour, and I approve this message. No, you don’t. No, I don’t. Okay, maybe the part about the drones.
Many of us buy into it. We’re scared that all those things and more are going to happen. It makes us cynical and afraid.
Those are all concerns we need to address, but we’re not going to get anywhere if we allow the politicians to keep driving fear into our hearts and wedges between us.
Politics Makes Us More Dependent
The candidates and their followers want you to believe that your life will get bad–or worse without their help. Way too many people place way too much reliance on how much the president will affect their lives.
First of all, the president really doesn’t affect us much.
Granted, our health care is still tethered to our employers, and we’re paying about five times as much as we used to for a lot less coverage, but it really hasn’t hurt us enormously. And if millions of people who didn’t have coverage before are covered now, that is awesome.
Although` I fully admit that I’m really irked that the Act didn’t decouple health care and employment.
Yep, I’m human. Great. Way to spoil that!
The ACA didn’t break us or ruin our quality of life. Much. It just inspired me to work harder to make up for it.
Way too many need a particular side to get elected to support some reliance on the government. That’s a vicious circle for all of us. In my opinion, encouraging or causing someone to be dependent on someone else is just cruel.
I’m all for helping someone who needs it, but do you know what dependence leads to? Hint: it’s not Happiness. See the banner up there? It’s called Independently Happy because it doesn’t depend on the kindness or competence of others. It’s Independent.
Since I brought it up, I don’t think I have to tell you what helping others can lead to. That’s right–more Happiness.
Hooray for happy!
Politics is Making Us Dumber
Too few of us even think much any more. Trending Tweets and Facebook ads are our only sources of research. We don’t look at history, numbers, and trends. We’re too sucked into the drama and the soap opera that cable news networks use to fill all that time between commercials.
[special] Tangent: I just found out from Grammar Girl a couple of weeks ago that Star Wars is a “Space Opera.” So was Star Trek. Listen for yourself:
I just love Grammar Girl.[/special]
Candidates don’t want us doing research. They want us excitable (they’ll even call it passion), upset at one another, and retweeting passive-aggression.
Politics is Making Us Miserable
When your relationships are strained, if not broken…
When you spend too much time dwelling on the negative, like how dumb your friends are and how much you don’t like your cousin anymore because she supports that candidate that the internet site said is crook and racist…
When you skim the surface of knowledge instead of dive deep into it…
When any or all of those things happen, what you get is less happy.
You start edging your way towards misery.
What’s the Solution?
One Solution is Appreciation
Be grateful that we live in a country where we are free to have opinions, even those that differ from yours.
Be appreciative of others’ opinions. Your opinion is just as dumb to them as theirs is to you. Be safe, though. Be the one who did the research and thought it through. Don’t be the annoying, aggressive, name-calling bully.
Get your head out of your a–I mean politics. Do some research. Weigh the options. Exercise your right to vote. Post a picture of yourself with your “I voted” sticker on Facebook. Better yet, Tweet the pic and mention me @IndyHayHay.
Have some discussions and remember that it is perfectly okay–in fact, it’s preferable–for someone to disagree with you. It keeps us in check. No matter how dumb they are.
Another Solution is Fascination
I think that every person’s belief system is a sum of their experiences. We’d all like to believe that our philosophies are based on:
- Relevant data, history,
- Facts (not even the alternate ones),
- Our innate superior intellect resulting from excellent genes and all-around coolness.
- The enlightenment we’ve gained through decades of study and discourse.
If our experience included those things all the better, but none of our worldviews are as sound and well-conceived as we want to believe. Our philosophies are the result of our feelings and reactions to our life experiences.
So when we disagree with someone–when we attempt to negate their point–we don’t just question their logic. We reject their experience, refute their existence. Why else do so many take simple disagreements so personally? They’re existential assaults and insults.
Everybody’s Got One
That’s a fancy way of saying that it’s all opinions. So instead of trying to prove why you’re right, learn how you could be wrong.
Do you want to be right or have the truth?
Instead of arguing, ask.
Ask whey they believe what they believe. Dive into what experiences led to their philosophies. You’ll likely gain an appreciation (see the first solution) for their opinion. Then, you’ll not only know what you know, but you’ll know what they know.
You’ll be significantly brighter than all the idiots with the ears (minds) closed and jaws yapping insisting they’re right and everyone else is wrong. People will like you, and we’ll all be happier.
What’s that? Do you disagree? Well, I’d like to hear your side! Maybe I’ll learn something. Teach me! Please leave a comment below, and we can discuss this civilly. That’s what blogs are supposed to be for.
Or maybe I’ll just listen.
Thank you for reading and sharing!
Now go in peace.
- Want to really stick it to them? Check out 3 Enlightened Reasons to Always Be Wrong. They’ll never expect that.
- Happiness isn’t something you can get.
- Happiness is earned.