Counselor weighs in: Having diplomatic talks with others about George Floyd's death

Posted at 4:00 PM, Jun 05, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-05 19:52:50-04

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - The death of George Floyd, who was killed when a Minneapolis Police officer put his knee on Floyd's neck during an arrest, brought on lots of thoughts, opinions and discussion.

Some of those discussions and moments were met with intensity and violence across the nation, even in Virginia Beach, where a peaceful protest turned violent on Sunday.

With so many thoughts and sides, a question is raised: how do you have diplomatic and healthy discussions with others who may have different opinions than you?

"We have that urge to connect, and when we feel when we can't connect to another human being, and that connection is threatened, it creates a lot of fears and insecurities," explained Danielle Jweid, a licensed counselor based in Virginia Beach.

Jweid is a counselor who helps people express their thoughts safely and diplomatically.

"I've been doing a lot of work with my clients on the current atmosphere and working through the emotions that come up," she said.

It can be hard having that discussion, even after protests sparked across the United States. Jwied added the coronavirus pandemic, which caused its own tensions, was a precursor to the intense moments we are experiencing right now.

Related: How long will local protests last? Community organizers weigh in

"It's threatened that ability to connect with other people," Jweid said. "Now we're looking to connect with other people and we haven't done it in a while, and there's a lot of tension around it."

Jweid shared with News 3 some tips you can take have a healthy and diplomatic discussion.

"Good eye contact, making sure you're not doing something else while talking to someone, especially asking open-ended questions, wanting to understand what they're saying," she explained.

She also added that if you don't particularly agree with another's thoughts, "Say, 'Hey, your feelings are valid.' I don't have to agree with them, but I can say, 'I can understand why you feel that way.'"

If the discussion reaches a standstill where neither party can agree and there's a sense of intensity and malice about to arise, Jweid suggested the parties should "Just accept that there's a difference of opinion, we're not seeing each other's opinion, this is not productive."

Overall, Jweid explained to go into the conversation with the notion that everyone wants to be heard.

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