When you look at our country, it’s obvious we’re getting more divided every year. At the same time, our society continues to become more diverse.
What does all this mean?
We have to figure out how to have compassionate conversations with each other. Far too often, we “cancel” people whose views we disagree with. Doesn’t matter if that person is a friend—when we cancel, we cut that person out of our lives. And, usually, we don’t even tell them why.
What’s the point of that?
We continue suffering from our anger, but the canceled person doesn’t even know we’re mad. An open, compassionate conversation, on the other hand, might lead to positive change. If it doesn’t, you can maturely, transparently, and respectfully end the relationship. I advocate having more open conversations about hard subjects. Yes, calling out has a place, but it’s for extreme situations, not everyday interactions. It’s time for us to engage in the tough conversations—time to cancel “cancel culture.” To do that, we have to learn how to engage in compassionate communication techniques. Because, ultimately, those techniques allow us to hold space: for human complexity, compassion, and anger.
Just as importantly, they allow us to hold people accountable, but in the right way.