(Shoutout to TED.com for the photo)
When was the last time you had a really good, productive political conversation with someone containing different values and beliefs than your own? A lot is happening in this country and I am constantly hearing about how divided we are but I am not noticing a lot of dialogue between people from different parties having productive, or any conversations at all about why people believe what they believe. Instead we just tend to stay in our own bubbles and ignore what’s happening to our society. When you come across somebody on social media with differing opinions than your own you can just delete or block them from your feed. But that will do to nothing but fuel the polarization in America.
I recently listened to Stanford University Professor Robb Willer’s “How to have better political conversations” TED talk and you should too! In a day and age when it’s particularly awkward and uncomfortable to discuss anything in regards to our current administration it’s crucial we continue a dialogue.
Everyone thinks they’re the good guy in this fight for political empowerment. Nobody is setting out to be the villain. We need to really talk to one another about the current polarization in this country and why these current issues matter to one another. It’s important to have authentic conversations, not just locked and loaded argument points to make. Instead of asking someone “How could you vote for someone like Donald Trump?” ease off of defense and try to understand the other side of things as well. That doesn’t mean shove your opinion and feelings away – it just means really truly listen. What is it that makes you feel so passionate about your values? How can I help you better understand what I am thinking/feeling? These are the things we need to be including in our political conversations, and keep in mind we all want to be the good guys.