Has someone ever told you, I don’t discuss politics and religion? That doesn’t usually mean they won’t talk about those things with anyone — just not those who disagree with them. I understand not wanting arguments and hurt feelings, but people who do not agree with us are exactly the ones we need to talk to.
It is possible to have a calm, rational conversation between people who disagree. Not easy, but possible.
So how do we do this?
- Suspend judgment and keep an open mind.
- Listen more than you speak.
- Give up any ideas about converting the other person.
- Keep things calm and civil.
- No insults or name-calling.
- Avoid direct confrontation Don’t back anyone into a corner.
- Shake hands, thank the other person for sharing their opinion. and part in peace.
These guidelines came as the result of a conversation with someone I do not agree with. Someone I saw as the enemy showed me it is possible to have those difficult conversations and part friends.
The only way to heal the great divide between groups and people is to communicate. Start talking!