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Conversations on Politics can Test Friendships

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TWC News: Conversations on Politics can Test Friendships
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WINSTON-SALEM -- It's been said that it's best to avoid talking about certain things in life if you value your friendships. Think money and religion, and certainly in the wake of Tuesday's election: politics. But there may be a way to make nice and keep your friends whether your candidate won or lost.

You may be inclined to gloat if your candidate won their election, sulk if your candidate lost. Conventional wisdom says politics is usually not a good topic of conversation.

"If you want to keep your friendships, if you want to keep your clients, if you want to keep your marriage, or other intimate relationships, one of your best bets is to not talk that much about your triumph or your loss, necessarily, or to growl or howl," said Sam Gladding, a professor of counseling at Wake Forest University.

Of course, it's just human nature.

"I think it's somewhat like sports in that you have a favorite team, or you have a favorite party, or you have a favorite candidate, and when he or she wins or loses you get excited," said Gladding.

He says you and your candidate may have won this game but should remember there's another game coming.

"We have 2016 coming, and so being a good sport, being a good loser, being a gracious winner is very important for people if they want to continue their relationships with others," Gladding said.

If the other person really is your friend, put your friendship first, your politics a distant second.

"If you've lost that friendship or that relationship you can never get it back,” said Gladding. “So watching what your words say, realizing that you can't get them back is probably one of the cautious things we should do with one another to maintain our friendships and our relationships."

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