A nation more divided than ever? Experts weigh in on what we can do

The danger of embracing the unprovable

The challenges of a divided society caused by individual and group stress and anxiety
The challenges of a divided society caused by individual and group stress and anxiety (KPRC-Pixabay)

Stress and anxiety leads to conflict

Our society seems more separated than ever. Political differences, mask debates, COVID vaccination disagreements that erupt into shouting matches between friends and neighbors. Why? Audrey Omenson, the Clinical Director for the Nick Finnegan Counseling Center, said stress and anxiety are trigger points for much of what is causing conflict. She said people dealing with stress need to know when they need help.
Our society seems more separated than ever. Political differences, mask debates, COVID vaccination disagreements that erupt into shouting matches between friends and neighbors. Why? Audrey Omenson, the Clinical Director for the Nick Finnegan Counseling Center, said stress and anxiety are trigger points for much of what is causing conflict. She said people dealing with stress need to know when they need help.

Our society seems more separated than ever. Political differences, mask debates, COVID vaccination disagreements that erupt into shouting matches between friends and neighbors.

Why?

Audrey Omenson, the Clinical Director for the Nick Finnegan Counseling Center, said stress and anxiety are trigger points for much of what is causing conflict. She said people dealing with stress need to know when they need help.

“How much distress is my current view of the world, my belief system, costing me and then also what’s the impact on the relationships in my life,” she said.

Omenson is a guest on this week’s Houston Newsmakers with Khambrel Marshall and talks about the psychological issues that elevate conflict in our personal relationships.

Group Identity Fuels Society Discord

Steven Nelson, Ph.D., an associate professor of Sociology at the University of Houston, is focused on the social psychology of deviance. He said it is not uncommon for groups of people to believe in unproven and unprovable things because of their need to be a part of a common cause even it is faulty.
Steven Nelson, Ph.D., an associate professor of Sociology at the University of Houston, is focused on the social psychology of deviance. He said it is not uncommon for groups of people to believe in unproven and unprovable things because of their need to be a part of a common cause even it is faulty.

Steven Nelson, Ph.D., an associate professor of Sociology at the University of Houston, is focused on the social psychology of deviance.

He said it is not uncommon for groups of people to believe in unproven and unprovable things because of their need to be a part of a common cause even it is faulty.

Nelson said there is plenty of danger ahead for our society if we don’t find common ground.

“The main issues are our lack of trust in institutions and our breaking apart essentially,” he said. “We have to find ways to rehabilitate these institutions. There are algorithms on Facebook that put things on it that make us angry at each other rather than bring us together because that increases the eyeballs on the screen and increases their money.”

Watch the HOUSTON NEWSMAKERS EXTRA here.

Minority Supplier Council Prepares for Expo

Mark September 15th and 16th on your calendars for the 2021 EXPO, sponsored by the Houston Minority Supplier Development Council.
Mark September 15th and 16th on your calendars for the 2021 EXPO, sponsored by the Houston Minority Supplier Development Council.

Mark September 15th and 16th on your calendars for the 2021 EXPO, sponsored by the Houston Minority Supplier Development Council.

President Ingrid Robinson said even though it is virtual for a second year the goal of matching minority businesses with major companies is the same.

She said the pandemic has been a challenge but also an opportunity.

“What we’ve done is talk to our business about development using this time to develop new skills and pivot into new industries and to better position themselves to come out of this,” Robinson said.

More Information

Audrey Omenson MA, LPC-S, Clinical Director, Nick Finnegan Counseling Center

Steven Nelson, Ph.D. Instructional Associate Professor of Sociology, University of Houston

Ingrid Robinson, President, Houston Minority Supplier Diversity Council


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