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Talk issues, not candidates to preserve family relationships amid divisive presidential election

Posted November 2, 2020 5:48 p.m. EST
Updated November 2, 2020 8:03 p.m. EST

According to the American Psychological Association, 68 percent of adults say Tuesday's presidential election is a major source of stress in their lives. That number has jumped from the 2016 election where only 52 percent of people reported feeling that way.

On Tuesday, President Donald Trump or former Vice President Joe Biden will be chosen to lead the country.

“Politics dissect values, and they make it seem like there’s two sides to it, but really, at the end of the day, a lot of people have the same values," said Kim Azevedo, a couples and marriage counselor.

The 2020 election has fueled divisions across the country and within homes.

Veronica Hernandez and her fiancé Jake Johnson have different opinions on who they’d like to see as president.

"We both know which side we're going to fall on and are clear on who we'll vote for," said Hernandez.

Experts suggest listening to your loved ones about their political views and focusing on their values -- not the candidates.

"Leave those names out of it. Talk about the issue at hand. What is the issue and what are you fighting for? What are you trying to achieve?" Azevedo explained.

If things escalate, Avezedo suggests politely walking away and practicing deep breathing techniques to avoid any further conflict.

"I definitely think you should try and talk about it, but you should set parameters, guidelines and ground rules," said Hernandez.

As for watching the results, Azevedo said it depends on each family.

“Figure out what’s right for your family, if watching them separately feels like the best option then do that. If you feel like you can be in the same room and hold space for each other watch, then watch together or don’t watch them at all," she said.

Experts said despite who wins, support your loved ones with a hug, a conversation or space if needed.

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