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Are different political views enough reason to cut ties online? Here's what a psychiatrist has to say


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When emotions and personal convictions run high due to politics, conflict with whom you disagree is inevitable.

The Philippine national elections just wrapped up last Monday, May 9. And while the results are still partial and unofficial, online bardagulan has only escalated, resulting in "unfriending," "unfollowing," and "blocking" among social media users.

On "Unang Hirit" Thursday, licensed psychiatrist Dr. Joan Mae Perez-Rifareal said heightened emotions can affect our thinking brain.

“Itong time ng post-election, medyo heightened ang emotions ng iba sa ating mga kababayan. Especially pag may loss, pag dumadaan tayo sa grieving process or parang pag may nawala. Be it nawalang opportunity, nawalang plans for the future,” Dr. Rifareal began.

“Pag heightened ang ating emotions, nawawala ang logical or thinking brain or ating objectivity sa pagtingin sa mga issues,” she explained.

So, during this time of high emotions and conflict, she advised everyone, especially those who consume social media a lot, to keep an "open line of communication."

“What does this mean? Dapat ‘wag tayo judgmental. Mas maganda pakinggan nating ang opinyon ng ating mga kamag-anak at friends. Be compassionate, understanding; open mindedness para maging healthy po ang ating discussions,” she further explained.

According to Dr. Rifareal, "blocking," "unfriending," and "unfollowing" are already "extreme" as there several other ways to lessen our interaction with people we don't want to be associated with.

She suggests hiding or muting the them first, “para 'di tayo ma-notify. Mas magiging quiet ang ating notifications. In the end, mas maganda that we remain at peace with everyone. Proseso po ito, at aabot din po tayo sa point na tayo ay magkakaisa at magkakaintindihan in the end,” she added.

When asked if she has any tips on restoring broken relationships due to different political views, the doctor reiterated that heightened emotions should be processed first.

“Hindi natin masasabi na one day lang, okay na lahat. It will take months or years pero mas maganda po, reassure natin na kung ano man ang mangayari, andito pa rin ang ating friendship,” she advised.

For now, the best way to do, according to Dr. Rifareal, is to "set boundaries."

“Set limits, especially when it comes to relationships at kung ito ay nakakaapekto na sa ating functionality sa trabaho at schooling, mas maganda aware po tayo sa ating emosyons,” she concluded.

You may watch Unang Hirit, 5:30 a.m. at GMA Network. — Hermes Joy Tunac/LA, GMA News

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