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Newsletter: Esther Perel on Resolving Conflict in Relationships

How to Resolve Conflict in Relationships: A Conversation with Esther Perel

Esther Perel

Psychotherapist, New York Times Bestselling Author, and Host of the “Where Should We Begin?” Podcast

 


John Donvan

Host and Moderator-in-Chief

 


 

This week:

  • New episode: Esther Perel on how to disagree constructively
  • What is a Conflict Pyramid?
  • Register to attend our upcoming debate in-person or watch online
  • Robots and dating apps: stream these can’t miss Valentine’s Day debates
  • Your Sunday reading list

 


 

As longtime fans of Open to Debate know, we have a certain view on disagreement — that it’s unavoidable, actually natural, and under the right circumstances, good for us. Sometimes, we just need to have it out and we think a good faith debate is a healthy, constructive way to do that, when it involves mutual respect, true listening, and an actual willingness to find the best in the other side’s idea.

All of which captures how my guest on this week’s episode — a Valentine’s Day Special — approaches her own work. Esther Perel is a globally-renowned psychotherapist and host of the “Where Should We Begin” podcast, best known for developing techniques to help couples connect and thrive and not be sabotaged by their disputes and differences.

One of her main ideas: conflict has to be embraced, and made use of. Not far from how we think of conflict at Open to Debate.

I wanted to see if she thought her techniques were relevant not only between people in love (or not, anymore), but if they might also address the problematically polarized political culture of our time.

The question really made her think, and her response was surprising, and worth hearing.

Sincerely,

John

PS: Esther has an upcoming tour  — check if she’s coming to a city near you.

 

 


DEBATING THE DATA
The Hierarchy of Disagreement

 

 


 

Embracing Conflict and Finding Common Ground

 

Esther Perel

“The difference between constructive and destructive conflict and the opposite of conflict isn’t empathy, it’s differentiation. It’s the ability to live with differences. To differentiate is my ability to hold onto my own ideas, beliefs, practices, while being able to stay connected with you… One in four Americans at this moment is cut off from a family member. That is huge. And that often has to do with political views, views around sexuality, gender, views around climate, views around the big issues of our time.”

 


Join Us for Our Upcoming Debate

 

Live Virtual and In-Person Debate: Has Citizens United Undermined Democracy?
When: Wednesday, February 21 at 5:00 PM CT

In-Person Location: Thorne Auditorium at Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law, 375 E. Chicago Ave, Chicago, IL

Arguing Yes: Francesca Procaccini, Assistant Professor of Law at Vanderbilt University Law School, and Ciara Torres-Spelliscy, Professor of Law at Stetson University

Arguing No: Floyd Abrams, Senior Counsel at Cahill Gordon & Reindel, and Eric Wang, Partner at The Gober Group and pro bono Senior Fellow at the Institute for Free Speech.

Register to attend in person or sign up to join the live stream and be a part of the conversation from wherever you are. A link to join virtually will be provided by our partners at Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law closer to the event date.

 


Two More Debates for Hopeless Romantics

If you enjoyed the conversation with Esther Perel, check out our other Valentine’s Day specials — listen now.

 

Have Dating Apps Killed Romance?

Arguing Yes: Eric Klinenberg, Sociologist and Co-Author of “Modern Romance”, and Manoush Zomorodi, Host and Managing Editor of “Note to Self”

Arguing No: Tom Jacques, Vice President of Engineering for OkCupid, and Helen Fisher, Biological Anthropologist and Chief Scientific Adviser for Match.com

 


Should We Have Sex With Robots?

Arguing Yes: Kate Devlin, Computer Scientist

Arguing No: Joanna Bryson, Professor of Ethics and Technology at the Hertie School of Governance

 


WEEKLY POINTS OF VIEW

 


‘If Destruction Be Our Lot, We Must Ourselves Be Its Author and Finisher’

Jamelle Bouie | February 3, 2024

The New York Times

Watch Jamelle’s debate on whether the Electoral College has outlived its usefulness

 


Color blindness remains the best form of antiracism

Coleman Hughes | February 1, 2024

The Boston Globe

Watch Coleman’s debate on whether color blindness perpetuates racism

 


Where Will Virtual Reality Take Us?

Jaron Lanier | February 2, 2024

The New Yorker

Watch Jaron’s debate on whether the risks from Artificial Intelligence outweigh the rewards

 


Washington’s Welfare Uniparty

Kimberley A. Strassel | February 1, 2024

The Wall Street Journal

Watch Kimberley’s debate on whether the GOP has lost its way

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