Since You Asked…

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Dear Caroline,

Over the past few years, my once-close-knit family has become politically divided. I wish our differences could be courteously set aside, but somehow we’re all caught up in an explosive and never-ending argument. The daily news feels like nothing more than gasoline poured onto that fire.

I’d love to be able to tell you I have risen above this turmoil, but I haven’t. Our current family dynamic is upsetting and embarrassing.

What can I do?

…Beleaguered in Baja

Dear Beleaguered,

Many people I know are having meltdowns over this very situation.

Since I think in analogies and was contemplating meltdowns, I turned to my friend, Shelby, who had a long career in a nuclear power plant. Shelby said toxic people are as dangerous as radiation and should be treated accordingly. Here’s what she recommended to defuse tensions:

1) Time (minimize exposure).

2) Distance (keep as far away as possible).

3) Shielding (use protection as necessary).

Since you used the word “beleaguered” in your letter, I’m sure you’re quick enough to understand this analogy and apply it to your life.

Yours in optimism,


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