How To Have Better Political Conversations

(Shoutout to TED.com for the photo)

When was the last time you had a really good, productive political conversation with someone of different values and beliefs than your own? A LOT is happening in this country/world and I am constantly hearing about how divided we are as a nation, but I am not noticing a lot of successful dialogue between people from different parties. Instead, people just tend to stay in their own bubbles and ignore what’s happening in the world if it doesn’t hold up to their opinions.

If you come across somebody on social media with differing opinions than your own you can just delete or block them from your feed. However, how can we promote change if we stay in these bubbles?

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 really 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 that we need to be including in our political conversations, and keep in mind we all want to be the good guys.

 

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