All Women's Talk

How to Keep the Peace when Talking about Politics ...

By Jessica

We all know politics, like religion, can be controversial and divisive. Especially during an election year, it seems like many individuals have strong opinions and no problem voicing them! While it's awesome to have opinions and be involved with the political process, it's important to not cause strife. Here are a few simple "rules" that will guide you in how to keep the peace when talking about politics to your friends, family and coworkers!

1 Know Where You Stand

Before even joining a political discussion it's essential that you know where you stand on key issues. Having confidence in your opinions makes your argument legitimate and more likely to be heard and considered. Do research and find out which side of the spectrum speaks to you!

2 It's OK to Be Neutral

While it's important to know where you stand on each issue, it's also totally OK to be neutral or to not have an opinion at all on certain issues. On the positive side, that means you're open minded to evidence on both sides, be it conservative or liberal, and you won't be easily caught up in a heated debate.

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3 If It Gets Ugly, Run!

Some politically-minded people like to share their opinions as facts and turn what could be an educational discussion, into personal attacks and character degradation- don't go there! To keep the peace just say you'll 'agree to disagree' and walk away from the conversation or change the subject.

4 Always Be Kind & Respectful

No one likes their opinions or values to be condemned simply because they are different. It's perfectly OK to have different opinions than your friends or family (or even the majority), but just remember that if you want your voice to be heard, you have to be respectful and kind! Your tone makes a world of difference in any conversation.

5 Avoid Moral/ethical Issues, if Possible

Often times ethical issues, such as abortion or marriage equality, are rooted in beliefs about life in general. Faith and religion tend to shape these social issues and therefore, it's best not to engage in a debate. Not that you can't find common ground, but opinions probably won't change significantly and it could cause anger and bitterness.

6 Find Common Ground

If you're somewhat in the middle of the political spectrum you'll have an easier time discussing politics. But even if you have solid opinions, find common ground among those who differ and go from there! You'll be surprised how much you actually have in common with the people you think are much different than you.

7 Focus on Listening

Like in any conversation, focusing on listening instead of being heard is the best strategy for actually being heard! Good listening shows signs of respect and interest in the other person and, in turn, your voice will carry more weight!

Because politics are based mostly on opinion, conversations and debates can quickly become tense. Simply remember these views are personal opinions, probably deeply rooted and shaped by life experience, and therefore they shouldn't result in personal attacks. What is your approach in discussing politics? Or do you avoid it altogether?

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