Why Election Season Can Be A Lonely Time & What To Do

We’ve all experienced it, whether firsthand or as a bystander: a conversation turns political, and tempers flare.

Politics can be one of the most divisive topics to pop up in conversations with friends, family, and co-workers. As licensed couples’ therapist Alicia Muñoz, LPC, tells mbg, this is part of the reason many will avoid politics in conversation altogether, particularly when differing views are part of the equation.

But avoiding political conversations has its consequences, too.

“During an election, we may keep our most powerful beliefs, fears, and hopes from those around us as a way of trying to manage our anxiety and/or avoid conflict,” Muñoz notes. “Or, we may deny or deflect the importance of our beliefs and feelings to ease the discomfort we feel. This can intensify our experience of loneliness.”

Some people may self-isolate in an effort to avoid confrontation with people who may have differing views, or they may not share as much about their inner worlds with others during an election season as they usually do. It can also be lonely if you’re someone who’s particularly stressed, anxious, or consumed by the election when others around you are not, making differences in values more apparent even if no political conversations actually happen.

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