3 ways to talk politics...

It's all around us whether we like it or not. We can not escape hearing about it in the news, friends and family are talking about it. Politics. As we all know the big election is this year and if you spend any amount of time on Facebook during this time of the year it can cause you to want to deactivate your account or maybe throw your laptop against the wall. I think some have lost the art of having a true conversation about politics so although I am NO expert I decided to come up with a few suggestions on how to have an open minded conversation about politics with your family and friends.

1.) "Nope, not going there!"

I see a trend of people's unwillingness to engage in a conversation when the conversation starts to head in a direction that makes them uncomfortable. It's important, especially when talking politics, to have an open mind while talking to others, letting them finish their thoughts out completely and taking turns speaking. We might be able to take away or learn a lot from others with differing opinions. Besides, if everyone had the exact same thoughts life may be a little boring. No?

2.) <Insert eye roll here>

This one is hard...no, HARRRDDD for me. I speak fluent sarcasm but it's not always appropriate and doesn't really have a place when speaking to family and friends about politics. While jokes can lighten the mood and might be somewhat of a defense mechanism it can also communicate to all involved in the conversation that you aren't taking their thoughts seriously and are being dismissive. That can cause hurt and cause a divide in relationships. So although I may not agree or am "so over" the conversation at hand it's important to keep that eye roll internal with delicate issues.

3.) Stay calm

Political conversations almost always start out calm and can end in passionate arguments with almost no solution. I think it's important to continue a calm tone through out the conversation at hand. Try asking the person with differing opinions questions about their stances. Questions like, "How did you come to that conclusion about that candidate?" "What issues are most important to you?" Questions let the other person fully disclose information that you may not get otherwise, Knowing how and why a person came up with their decision may better help you understand their stance and that person. There is nothing wrong with getting your truths out there on the table, but just do so in a calm manner.