Give the Gift of Civility

The political divide in our society has influenced so many parts of our lives including our perceptions of “facts”, our friendships, and our world view. Uncertain times and disagreements on many hot topics have become very polarizing, leading to a negative impact on our mental health and well-being. Since the unprecedented events of 2020, there has been an uptick in anxiety, helplessness, and depression.

Here are 7 things we can do to regain our own power by giving the gift of civility to others. Let’s regain control over own attitudes and behaviors in the workplace and in our communities.

  1. Commit to being respectful.
  2. Accept that good people can have different ideas.
  3. Give up the idea that you will change someone’s set beliefs through your social media meme or post.
  4. Don’t make personal attacks or name-call when you are conversing about ideas.
  5. Since communication is about the words we say, the tone we use, and our body demeanor, be intentional about being open to hearing others. Listen to truly understand another’s point of view instead of listening to try to change it.
  6. Take some deep breaths before responding to help you think before you say something hurtful that you may regret.
  7. Focus on mending the relationship and resolving the issue rather than being right.

According to dictionary definitions, civility refers to politeness, respect, and courtesy in behavior or speech. As human beings, our well-being would be enhanced if we could aim to be respectful and display this kind of civility.