Red and Blue Politics in America — Part 4

Finding safe and constructive ways to vent anger.

Posted Apr 19, 2017

This is the fourth blog post that relates to the politics of being red or blue in America. The challenges that we have presented in the past three posts have been from a serious game called “Bounce Back” that we have developed that teaches the skills and the attitudes of resilience. We originally used “Bounce Back” as a hard-copy card game but have developed it into an electronic game. This serious game presents a challenge that a participant must respond to using the skills and the attitudes of resilience in managing the challenge. The challenge asks that they put themselves in someone else’s shoes and  understand how that person might think and feel in the situation presented.

The “Bounce Back” game has over 25 different sub-decks of challenges relating to different issues and to different groups of people. We have added two new sub-decks to the game in the last few weeks. The challenge that we  present today will be from the sub-deck “Red and Blue Politics in America.” In the weeks ahead, we will present challenges from the other sub-deck, “Being Different in America.” The challenges presented are drawn from the headlines, whether it is an act of hatred directed toward a specific religious group or race or whether it’s someone making a police report that their car has been vandalized because of a bumper sticker. Today’s challenge deals with the latter.

You parked your car at the mall and returned to find that your car has a long scratch down its side and the bumper sticker supporting your candidate has been ripped off.

First of all, you’re going to have to deal with the strong feelings that you may have about what has just happened. You probably feel pretty angry about what has happened, but you also may feel really frightened that people would do this to you and your car. You don’t need to be impulsive and respond out of emotion. 

Put you emotion to the side for a few minutes and think and decide what you want to do. You probably want to make a police report. They may not be successful in finding the person who did this, but at least you’ve taken some action in a positive way about what has happened.

You also need to find some ways to vent the angry feelings that you may have and be able to talk about the fear that may be coming up inside regarding the future and how things will be if this is what is going to happen when you take a position and express that position.

Find some support and someone who can empathize with you. Vent your anger, but use your thinking as a way of managing your emotions. Don’t act out of the anger.

And try to keep all of this in some perspective. Look at the bigger picture. Sure, there are some people out there who are angry and upset and who feel like they now have the freedom and the right to express that anger toward anyone. Don’t become one of them. Most people are not in that place. This country is going through a difficult time. Things will change. Things may get worse before they get better, but they will eventually get better.  What has happened will not change everything. And blaming is not going to be helpful. Hold yourself and others accountable for their actions. But adding to that a huge dose of negative emotion is not going to make the situation any better or in the end make you feel any better.

In the next few weeks, we will present more challenges that have to do with the politics of our country and the challenge of being different in America. Stay tuned.