How to disagree about politics without losing friends

In a story for the New York Times , one woman said she threatened to end her 11-year marriage with her husband on the night of Trump’s election. “The next morning, with tears in my eyes, I told Nisim we were going to have to get divorced because I could not live with him for the next four years,” Debra Gaynor, the woman in question, told the NYT. “He said, ‘Honey, we’re not going to get divorced. We’re just not going to talk about politics for the next four years.’”

While avoiding any discussion of politics for four years is one answer, when dealing with any loved one whose political ideology is so far from your own, you can still disagree without the need to contact a divorce attorney. With friends, it’s also complicated; you may decide to go your separate ways when you disagree so passionately on which candidate you support or which party you belong to.

A conversation over politics when you both disagree isn’t easy, will probably become personal, and you may not change anyone’s views. Just understand what you’re getting yourself into and be sure to establish your own boundaries.

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Don’t assume you’ll come to a mutual understanding

Before you embark on a discussion of politics with a friend who doesn’t share your beliefs, first, manage your expectations and don’t expect to change their views. You should understand up front that no amount of hard evidence can convince some people that their views are wrong or even remotely worthy of reconsideration. Understand your goal from the conversation, whether it’s to change their views or just hear their perspective, and go from there.

How to disagree about politics without losing friends

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Of course, this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t attempt to educate them—by all means, give them facts, links to reported stories, etc.—but you’ll only become increasingly frustrated if your goal is to change their views by the end of a conversation. Expect that if their views will change, it will take time and lots of it (and even then, facts can only accomplish so much). On the reverse, expect that you might learn something, too, whether it’s true or something false you can dispute later.

Don’t make it personal, and find the right setting

We get it. When you’re dealing with someone whose opinions are so far from your own, it’s all too easy to become frustrated and want to resort to personal insults (or defer to an occasional expletive). Don’t do it.

Using personal attacks might only cloud that person’s ability to absorb any facts you’re expressing. “You don’t have to validate someone else’s content that you may find inconsistent with your values, but you do need to at least validate their ability to share their feelings and willingness to be open,” Vaile Wright, a psychologist, writes for Vox . “That is how you move a conversation forward if it ends up that you do not agree with their opinions.”

If you’re rooting for different Democratic presidential candidates, for example, one way to accomplish this is not to throw an insult at the candidates themselves or you might risk your friend feeling personally offended. Instead, express your position on an issue that you disagree with that candidate on.

And find the right setting. Having a conversation about politics in the office versus at happy hour might reap different repercussions, so choose wisely. If you think the latter might call for more personal attacks, fueled by alcohol and adrenaline, then avoid it at all costs.

Understand your own boundaries

Of course, a discussion about politics with those who believe in opposite ideologies than your own is walking a fine line—and sometimes, it may not feel like it’s worth the effort of launching into a tense conversation with little reward. “I have some friends I have great debates with, even if we fundamentally disagree with each other,” u/clipot writes on a Reddit thread . “I have other friends with strong opinions who I never would enter debates with. I think it boils down to those who is interested in discussions and are confident enough to defend their view and those who are only interested in confirming their view and are afraid of having to defend it.”

But you should also understand that when someone disagrees with you politically, you may not have to end a friendship, though sometimes, you’re better off anyway. Every person is entitled to their boundaries and you should not feel compelled to sacrifice yours to maintain a friendship. What kind of boundaries exactly? Well, if your friend’s political views infringe upon basic human rights, like, say, the rights of undocumented immigrants to freedom outside of detention centers , the rights of LGBTQ employees to discrimination protections in the workplace or actual disbelief in the existence of manmade climate change, then say your peace and find your exit. (Here’s our guide on how to dump a friend the right way.)

As our video producer Joel suggests, when in need of a quick escape during a tense conversation involving politics, just bring up something you can all agree is ridiculous. “Can you believe this bullshit about [insert your topic of choice here]?” he suggests as a segue—and soon you’ll be afforded a swift opportunity to leave without so much as another word.

By Stephanie Pappas published 1 November 16

How to disagree about politics without losing friends

The 2016 election has been an intensely personal race between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. Experts say the mudslinging between candidates is trickling down to the general public. What’s an avowed Hillary-hater to do when she finds out her best friend has an “I’m With Her” sticker on her car? How does a dyed-in-the-wool Democrat handle the news that her father donated to Trump?

Politics can involve deeply held values and personal beliefs; it’s too glib to simply tell people to “play nice,” said Joshua Klapow, a clinical psychologist at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Klapow hosts a radio show on relationships and has seen an outpouring of angst over political differences between families and friends this election season.

“We have bled over in many cases from beliefs and passion to criticism and contempt with our peers,” Klapow told Live Science. [Election Day 2016: A Guide to the When, Why, What and How]

“People are blowing it,” he added. “They’re ruining friendships.”

What’s more, he said, the skills needed to argue politics productively are the same needed to manage disagreements about money, religion — even household chores. That’s why Klapow wants to see more people pull it together and find a way to have difficult conversations without destroying relationships. Here are some tips from Klapow:

1. Be prepared

If you’re ready for the possibility of uncomfortable conversations, you’re less likely to be caught off guard, Klapow said. In an election season like this one, you’re likely to hear statements you vehemently disagree with from friends, family and acquaintances.

2. Think before you respond

Don’t respond reflexively to an offhand comment or social media post. A knee-jerk response gives you no chance to ask, “Can I be friends or acquaintances with this person even though they see the world differently than I do?” Klapow said. Hold off until you decide whether it’s worth jumping in.

“Think before you act,” he said. “Allow for differences in your social and love circle. And if you can’t, be absolutely sure that you can’t.”

You may feel you don’t want that person’s friendship if you can’t agree on particular issues, Klapow said, but think carefully as you make that call.

“Is this worth my time and energy, and what will I gain and what will I lose by going down this route with this person?” Klapow said. “You’d better be honest with those answers.”

2. Remember that campaigns have a job

The Clinton and Trump campaigns are doing their jobs when they fuel the fires of hatred toward the other candidate. Remember that the person you’re talking with is influenced by the public discourse (as are you), Klapow warned.

“Weigh the impact of the campaign’s message and this person’s political views on who they actually are as a person,” he said. Don’t assume the worst possible motivations on the part of the other person. Republicans and Democrats encompass large groups of people who don’t think in lockstep on every issue. [Life’s Extremes: Democrat vs. Republican]

“We have to absolutely stop ourselves and ask ourselves if they are voting for a different party, do we know what that actually means about their individual beliefs about social, political and fiscal issues,” Klapow said. “The answer is most of the time, ‘No, we have no freaking clue.'”

4. Engage with respect, if you’re going to engage

If you decide you’re willing to accept the risks of a political discussion, do it with good grace.

“What you owe the other person is respect of their humanity. You may not owe them anything else, but you owe them that,” Klapow said. “If you’re going to have a debate, engage with them such that their political views don’t instantaneously become your criticism of them personally, which is exactly a problem people have in arguing in general.”

Klapow suggested fighting that urge with tips taken from the work of John Gottman, a psychologist who studies successful marriage and parenting strategies.

Keep cool. Take a few minutes to let your emotions simmer down so you can think clearly.

Soften your approach. Bring up topics of disagreement without blame, anger or criticism.

Talk about your feelings and use statements starting with “I” to communicate what you’re experiencing and why. Don’t argue with what you think (maybe mistakenly) that the other person is feeling.

Think before you speak. Rash words can do more harm than good, Klapow said.

End on a good note. Try to alleviate the tension with humor or at least a change of subject so you clear the negativity from the air before the conversation ends.

“There is no reason for us not to have heated arguments and still retain our relationships with people,” Klapow said. “That’s the part, to me, that has gone awry.”

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How to disagree about politics without losing friends

If you’ve lost friends or developed contentious relationships over the course of this presidential election, you’re not alone. Steering clear of political conversations with loved ones—and unfollowing or hiding those on social media with opposing views—has become a common coping mechanism for getting through these long months leading up to November 8.

And while that may be the path of least resistance, experts at Virginia Tech University are urging Americans to reconsider this behavior.

“We need to find ways to empathize and understand each other, despite our differences, if we are going to solve the myriad of challenges we face,” said Todd Schenk, Ph.D., an assistant professor of public and international affairs, in a press release. “Instead of avoiding, we should think about how we can coexist.”

Schenk has research to support his view: To see if face-to-face interaction between people with opposing beliefs could increase feelings of empathy between them, he recently performed an experiment he calls The Frenemies Project. The project brought together individuals who had strong beliefs on either side about a hot-button political issue—in this case, immigration—who otherwise would have little contact with each other.

The volunteers took part in several scenarios designed to facilitate dialog between the two sides, including role-playing in which they were asked to briefly argue the view they opposed, and one-on-one discussions where they compared their differences and similarities.

The activities didn’t change anyone’s minds about which side of the issue they were on (you knew it wasn’t going to be that easy). “Everyone left just as passionate as they were when they arrived,” Schenk tells RealSimple.com.

But they did leave feeling more understanding of other people’s views, and in some cases, more willing to find compromise. “The experience gave them a chance to appreciate other viewpoints and see each other as actual people, so they felt less anger,” he says.

That feeling—empathy—is sorely needed in such a polarized political climate, agrees psychologist Scott Geller, Ph.D., director of Virginia Tech’s Center for Applied Behavior Systems. Not only can it help us treat each other better, but it can protect against a phenomenon known as confirmation bias.

Confirmation bias occurs when we read and follow news (and opinion) sources that support what we already believe, and we filter out those that go against our views. It happens naturally based on the people we choose to spend time with, and where we choose to work or spend time. But it’s made worse by the self-selecting nature of social media, Geller tells RealSimple.com—even more so when we curate our news feeds down to only the voices we want to hear.

That may not sound so bad—after all, your side is the right side, you think; why should you waste time and get stressed out by exposing yourself to the wrong one?

Because you might learn something valuable about the other side, says Geller, or even about yourself and your own views.

“If we keep our views private or we only interact with people who support those views, we never really get to test them out loud,” he says. “If I test my perceptions of a candidate by voicing my opinion to somebody who feels differently, I might realize that I’m a little off; maybe I don’t feel as strongly as I thought. Maybe the other person is making good points, as well.”

Of course, that’s easier said than done, especially when passions run high and misinformation is everywhere. So while Geller does recommend being open about politics, he also has some suggestions for doing it in a healthy, productive way.

• Ask questions. If a friend or acquaintance is vocal about a view you don’t agree with, approach the conversation in a non-aggressive, non-directive way, says Geller: “Start out by asking for the other person’s opinion—‘Can you explain why you feel that way?’—and then give your own opinion in response.”

• Acknowledge their view. “Respond back to them by saying, ‘I understand you’re coming from a different place and why you feel that way. Here’s my background and why I feel differently,’” says Geller. Admitting that everyone has their own biases may help the other person see your side, as well.

• Take it offline. It can be extremely difficult to express compassion over social media, says Geller, especially in a semi-public forum like Facebook. (While he is a strong proponent of talking socially about politics, he’s not a fan of posting political views on social media.) If you really feel that someone’s online behavior is jeopardizing your relationship, he says, it’s best to put election talk on hold—and, yes, maybe even hide their posts temporarily—until you can sit down face-to-face.

• Give advice, if you must. Have a friend who’s constantly sharing incendiary memes or blatantly false articles? You might send them a friendly note, says Geller: “I’d say something like, ‘I’ve been reading your posts and they’re coming across pretty strong, and you might be influencing some attitudes about you that are unwarranted.’” Hopefully, he or she will take your advice and tone it down.

• Be reflective, not reactive. Finally, make sure you’re following the same ground rules you’d expect of others, he says. And think twice before posting something that may generate harsh feedback or land you in an exhausting back-and-forth argument. Most of the time, you’ll be glad you held back.

• If all else fails, downgrade your relationship. If this election is bringing out personality traits in people you simply can’t accept—if an acquaintance or relative is posting racist or sexist rants, for example, and isn’t able to realize why they’re offensive—it may be time to reevaluate their status in your life, and in your social feed. “There are certainly times when more interaction just won’t help and can, in fact, hurt,” says Schenk, who adds that being a good “frenemy” requires a commitment on both sides. “No one should tolerate speech or behavior that is discriminatory, abusive or otherwise morally reprehensible to them.” (Check out advice for breaking up with a friend here.)

Schenk, whose research focuses on collaborative planning and decision making, also recommends mending damaged relationships, if possible, after the election is over and tensions aren’t quite so high.

In fact, he’s named November 9 National Frenemies Day. “It should be like a detox day, when we sit down and have coffee with people we’ve avoided or have been arguing with, and really start to engage in conversations,” he says.

Schenk’s best advice, though, can be put to use now: Keep it civil, and don’t get sucked into the mudslinging that’s consumed so much of this campaign.

“The vitriol and animosity this election season really have reached new heights,” he says. “We need to find ways to appreciate each other’s humanity, even when we disagree.”

Research finds that half of Americans stopped talking politics with someone.

How to disagree about politics without losing friends

There probably isn’t a more polarizing topic than politics, especially during an election year. It doesn’t matter who wins—almost half of the country will be angry their candidate didn’t become president or remain in office.

The divisiveness on social media is deafening. However, using a keypad is much different than facing people at a dinner table. Anyone can post snarky memes or sarcastic content on social platforms. Leave rude or even malicious comments on articles and even troll those who don’t have their same beliefs. The wild web gives some people a sense of freedom of their actions without consequences.

Living face-to-face

This has been an extremely challenging year. Not only has there been a heated election, but COVID-19 has everyone living a new normal. The unraveling of friendships due to the differences in how people are reacting to the pandemic has been overwhelming.

Now many are rethinking their holiday gatherings, but they also have to consider the conversations that are likely to take place.

According to PEW Research, almost half (45 percent) of Americans have stopped talking politics to someone because of something they said online or in person.

Can we discuss politics without sacrificing friendship?

It likely depends on the person, but hopefully in most cases — yes.

A conversation is an exchange of thoughts, ideas, and opinions. If you know that your friend has opposite political views, you should be prepared for their viewpoint.

These are times we have to challenge ourselves to be uncomfortable and put our friendship over politics. The fact is, in many situations, your friend or family member is the person that is there for you when you’re having a bad day, battling with your kids or maybe going through a divorce.

Try to call your congressperson and vent to them about your boss or partner? Give your commissioner a call about your landscaping problem? You likely will never hear back from them — except for a generic email saying they have received your note and it will be read.

Your friend is much more valuable than any candidate, politician or election year. Find a way to agree to disagree. Understand that as much as you attempt to have them see things your way, you will likely never change their mind — same as they are probably not going to change your mind.

3 Ways to navigate political conversations

  1. Become self-aware of your body language and tone. When you are talking to your friends, don’t shrug your shoulders, roll your eyes, or make snarky comments. Be engaged and interested. If we all start listening to each other, rather than raising voices or arguing, it’s less likely friendships will be crumbling. No one wins when tempers flare and feelings get hurt. Remember, silence is golden.
  2. Limit your time online. According to research, adults can spend up to 11 hours a day interacting on social media. There is nothing wrong with using the unfollow or mute feature on a friend that tends to overshare political updates that you don’t agree with or you aren’t interested in. They don’t receive notifications that you have done this and your newsfeed will be less stressful for you. By budgeting your time online, you will find the places that keep you well-informed on the topics that most interest you.
  3. Character counts. You can’t control how other people behave, but you can control how you respond to them (and how you behave). Never forget how you react is a reflection of your character both online and offline. It’s one thing to be passionate about your beliefs and politics, it’s another when it crosses the line into cruelty and harm.

It’s time to have mutual respect for each other no matter what political affiliation we are, and choose compassion over conflict.

With less than a week left to go until Election Day, the political campaigns are making their final pitch to convince you of who and what to vote for. It’s important that we engage in conversation about the issues, but I’m concerned by the degree of hostility that I sometimes see displayed in the midst of discussions about politics, especially online within social media forums like Facebook and Twitter.

As we enter the final week before the election, I want to share a few thoughts on how to engage in the political process in a way that will not only make you an engaged citizen, but also in a way that will allow you to still have some friends after the election:

How to disagree about politics without losing friends

1. Determine your framework for decision-making

Many people don’t even consider this step. It’s often an entirely unconscious process. Their values are culturally shaped by the influence of others around them without their knowledge. They grew up in a particular kind of family, went to a particular kind of school in a particular area of the country and were influenced at each step of the way. This is inevitable for all of us, however once we realize this, intentional thought on this topic is needed. Our worldview serves as our filter for decision making, which makes it of huge importance.

For Christians who profess to be under the Lordship of Jesus Christ and uphold the Bible as our infallible guide, the Bible, rather than any other opinions or philosophy, should be the primary influencer of our value system and shape our worldview. A Biblical worldview is something that can take time to develop, but there are many great resources available to help. (Breakpoint, the ministry of Chuck Colson, has many great resources to help Christians think Biblically about social issues and would be a great place to start if you want to begin developing a Biblical worldview.)

2. Become informed about the issues and the candidates

It’s important to get educated about the issues the country is facing and with the message of the different candidates. Just having an opinion isn’t necessarily worth much, it’s having facts and valid information that matters. Proverbs 18:2 says “A fool finds no pleasure in understanding but delights in airing his own opinions.” Don’t let political discourse degrade into airing opinions with no desire for truth.

There are many ways to get informed, but there is usually a good deal of spin on both sides. I would particularly recommend looking at the candidates websites themselves. Watching the presidential debates can also be particularly helpful as they allow you to see one candidate compared side-by-side with another. (The recordings of the recent presidential debates are all available on YouTube.) Don’t trust the ads you see to give a fair representation of the other candidate. They may point out some things for you to look into, but by all means, do a little investigation of your own.

3. Joyfully embrace your civic responsibility

I don’t think we should view our participation in the political process as drudgery, but rather something to be embraced joyfully as a blessing from God. Some Christians act as though we shouldn’t care about elections or other “worldly things”, that we should rather focus entirely on telling others about Jesus and saving them from and eternity apart from Christ. While I agree this is our foremost concern, God has sovereignly placed us as citizens of a particular nation and given us rights and responsibilities associated with that placement.

Jesus said “render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s and unto God what is God’s”. (Mark 12:17) In the same way that we are obliged to pay taxes, we are also obliged to vote for the candidate that will influence our nation in the most God-honoring direction. Yes, no candidates are perfect, in this election and in every election, but there are some issues that are more important than others, and there are some candidates that are better than others. Vote accordingly.

Rather than viewing civic responsibility as opposed to missional Christianity, I urge my brothers and sisters in Christ to accept these two things in the proper order of priority but to engage in both.

4. Communicate with candor and kindness

Rather than just avoiding conversations with people you may disagree and demonizing them behind their backs speak to them directly and with an open heart and an open mind. This is best done face to face. I honestly can’t emphasize this enough. Shooting out stinging one-liners on Twitter or giving a diatribe on Facebook may make you feel better, but too often it doesn’t advance any kind of meaningful dialogue about the issues and only irritates half of your friends.

I wonder how many people will actually distance themselves from people that they previously considered friends because of things said and done during this election season. It’s a sad thing to think about.

When communicating on social media or in any written form take great care as it is more difficult to convey the intended tone. Many people communicate online with a degree of rudeness and meanness that they never would in a face-to-face conversation. Though face-to-face conversation isn’t always possible, recognize the serious pitfalls of written communication and write carefully with grace and respect.

5. Remain civil and be willing to agree to disagree

Civility is the ability to be polite or courteous even when you disagree with someone. The word “civility” itself is actually related to our word “citizen”. For us to function in a democratic society in which alternative views are so freely exchanged, civility is essential, but it’s something that is being lost in our culture. The sort of rudeness that has become so commonplace in our society right now is appalling. We should be able to be passionate about our views without being rude or demeaning others, especially those we claim are our friends.

I’m deeply concerned by the degree of hostility that I often see displayed in the midst of discussions about politics. How many people, I wonder, will loose friends or leave churches because of election season hostilities. The election will be over in a week, and yes, it’s an important one for the future of our country, but don’t allow Obama, Romney or any other politician or pundit to influence you in such a way that causes you to be rude and mean-spirited, especially to a fellow brother or sister in Christ.

When the election is all over, you may still loose a few friends even if you follow this advice (though hopefully not). Let’s face it people are just weird sometimes. But at least you will have conducted yourself with honor, and will have a clean conscience before God.

Having friends is not a worthy ultimate goal, but expressing a value for our friends and people in general does show a Christ-like love (or lack of it). May God revive a pure love in our hearts for all people — even those we think are completely wrong and with whom we strongly disagree.

Questions: What do you think? Do you share my concern about political hostilities?

Research finds that half of Americans stopped talking politics with someone.

How to disagree about politics without losing friends

There probably isn’t a more polarizing topic than politics, especially during an election year. It doesn’t matter who wins—almost half of the country will be angry their candidate didn’t become president or remain in office.

The divisiveness on social media is deafening. However, using a keypad is much different than facing people at a dinner table. Anyone can post snarky memes or sarcastic content on social platforms. Leave rude or even malicious comments on articles and even troll those who don’t have their same beliefs. The wild web gives some people a sense of freedom of their actions without consequences.

Living face-to-face

This has been an extremely challenging year. Not only has there been a heated election, but COVID-19 has everyone living a new normal. The unraveling of friendships due to the differences in how people are reacting to the pandemic has been overwhelming.

Now many are rethinking their holiday gatherings, but they also have to consider the conversations that are likely to take place.

According to PEW Research, almost half (45 percent) of Americans have stopped talking politics to someone because of something they said online or in person.

Can we discuss politics without sacrificing friendship?

It likely depends on the person, but hopefully in most cases — yes.

A conversation is an exchange of thoughts, ideas, and opinions. If you know that your friend has opposite political views, you should be prepared for their viewpoint.

These are times we have to challenge ourselves to be uncomfortable and put our friendship over politics. The fact is, in many situations, your friend or family member is the person that is there for you when you’re having a bad day, battling with your kids or maybe going through a divorce.

Try to call your congressperson and vent to them about your boss or partner? Give your commissioner a call about your landscaping problem? You likely will never hear back from them — except for a generic email saying they have received your note and it will be read.

Your friend is much more valuable than any candidate, politician or election year. Find a way to agree to disagree. Understand that as much as you attempt to have them see things your way, you will likely never change their mind — same as they are probably not going to change your mind.

3 Ways to navigate political conversations

  1. Become self-aware of your body language and tone. When you are talking to your friends, don’t shrug your shoulders, roll your eyes, or make snarky comments. Be engaged and interested. If we all start listening to each other, rather than raising voices or arguing, it’s less likely friendships will be crumbling. No one wins when tempers flare and feelings get hurt. Remember, silence is golden.
  2. Limit your time online. According to research, adults can spend up to 11 hours a day interacting on social media. There is nothing wrong with using the unfollow or mute feature on a friend that tends to overshare political updates that you don’t agree with or you aren’t interested in. They don’t receive notifications that you have done this and your newsfeed will be less stressful for you. By budgeting your time online, you will find the places that keep you well-informed on the topics that most interest you.
  3. Character counts. You can’t control how other people behave, but you can control how you respond to them (and how you behave). Never forget how you react is a reflection of your character both online and offline. It’s one thing to be passionate about your beliefs and politics, it’s another when it crosses the line into cruelty and harm.

It’s time to have mutual respect for each other no matter what political affiliation we are, and choose compassion over conflict.

‘Dude, I’m Done’: When Politics Tears Families And Friendships Apart

How to disagree about politics without losing friends

If you find yourself fighting with a friend over politics, or frustrated and furious with your nearest and dearest over whom they’re supporting for president, you’re hardly alone. A recent survey shows just how much the nation’s bitter political divide is causing social splintering and taking a toll on friendships. Even decades-long relationships have been caving under the pressure, giving new meaning to “social distancing.”

“I did straight up say, ‘Dude, I’m done. Lose my number,’ ” said Shama Davis from Los Angeles, recalling when he “unfriended” a guy he’d been friends with since high school 25 years ago.

“I just hung up on my end and proceeded to just block him in every possible way,” said Joni Jensen from New York, still fuming over the guy she felt compelled to dump.

And betraying just a tinge of regret about cutting off his cousins, Ricardo Deforest of Tampa, Fla., conceded, “I hate to say it because family is everything,” before unabashedly proclaiming, “I disowned them. In my mind they’re not family anymore.”

How to disagree about politics without losing friends

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They are among the many Americans for whom political rifts have deepened. It’s one thing to disagree about something such as tax policy, they said. But they see their differences now as ones of basic morality, core values and character, and that cannot be overlooked.

Davis, 42, a consultant who is Black, said he simply could not abide his friend downplaying police brutality, and harping instead on the looting and violence happening amid the mostly peaceful protests.

“I told him, ‘If this is your attitude, we can’t be cool anymore,’ ” Davis said. ” ‘I don’t respect you now. I don’t. Because people are really dying.’ “

Jensen, a retired professor, also sees it as a moral absolute. As a sexual assault survivor, she said, she couldn’t stand it when the guy she’d been close to for 40 years was being cavalier about the allegations against President Trump’s then-Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. (Kavanaugh vehemently denied the sexual assault allegations.)

“He was going off like, ‘Oh, you drank the Kool-Aid,’ and ‘Kavanaugh didn’t do anything,’ ” she recalled. “It made me sick. If this is his core ethics, I don’t want that kind of person in my life.”

How to disagree about politics without losing friends

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A Nation Is Riveted As Christine Blasey Ford Testifies

Conservatives can be just as quick to spurn the liberals in their lives who clash with their core values, such as life and liberty — which is the biggie for Deforest.

“They sold our country out,” Deforest, a 61-year-old steelworker, said of those on the left of the political spectrum. “This election is about the soul of what America is. You can’t be a free country and be a socialist state at the same time.”

He said the acrimony he’s feeling from what he calls “hardcore Trump haters” was as much a factor in his decision to cut them off as their differences that gave rise to it.

“All they can do is say, ‘Trump is a racist. Orange man bad! Orange man racist! They’re blowing spittle, and [their] veins popping out of their heads,” he said. “Yo soy Latino. But [they assume] I’m some sort of horrible racist because I like Trump. It’s ridiculous!”

Jocelyn Kiley, associate director of research at the Pew Research Center, said political polarization is more intense now than at any point in modern history. Nearly 80% of Americans now have “just a few” or no friends at all across the aisle, according to Pew. And the animosity goes both ways.

How to disagree about politics without losing friends

“Democrats are a little bit more likely to say they’d end a friendship” Kiley said. “But Republicans may be less likely to say they have friends on the other side. So it may not be all that differential.”

Another recent poll by the Public Religion Research Institute shows that 8 in 10 Republicans believe the Democratic Party has been taken over by socialists, while 8 in 10 Democrats believe the Republican Party has been taken over by racists. The report is aptly named titled “Dueling Realities.”

Tania Israel, a professor in the counseling, clinical and school psychology department at the University of California, Santa Barbara, said she’s seeing more of those kinds of distorted views in the workshops she runs on cross-the-aisle conversations. The rancor is rising, she said, as both sides “tend to view the other as being more extreme than they actually are.”

Another thing conservatives and liberals have in common, she said, is that they all suffer from big blind spots when it comes to the morality of their own side. They tend to view themselves as eminently fair and right, and the other side as irrational.

Case in point: Explaining his politics, Deforest noted, “When I say all these things, I think I sound fairly reasonable,” while declaiming the other side with, “There’s something wrong with these people.”

Jensen, meanwhile, is just as certain, upbraiding the guy she was arguing with as “brainwashed.”

A little more listening to understand, a little less trying to convince, and a lot more intellectual humility would do everyone a world of good, said Israel, who’s also the author of Beyond Your Bubble: How to Connect Across the Political Divide, Skills and Strategies for Conversations That Work.

How to disagree about politics without losing friends

Civility Wars

In These Divided Times, Is Civility Under Siege?

“We’re flattening people out in terms of our view of them,” she said, “and we’re not really seeing the full complexity of people on the other side.”

It’s exactly what Jon Langford, 28, a Georgia truck driver, said he experienced when his brother, who is gay, wrongly assumed the worst about him.

“He went off on me saying essentially I’m a racist and a homophobe just because I’m a Trump supporter. No ifs, ands or buts. And he completely cut me out of his life,” Langford said. They haven’t spoken in years.

Now, Langford said, he’s determined not to do the same thing to his friends across the aisle, including his best friend, who supports former Vice President Joe Biden. As Langford sees it, no one has a monopoly on morality.

“I could assume that anybody that supports Biden is a firm believer that it’s OK to murder a baby,” he said. “But I don’t.”

Another conservative, Judith Margolis Friedman, may be one of the few who can claim that she’s managed not to lose any friends over politics. But she said that’s because she kept her political views secret for fear of “social suicide.”

“I would politely nod and go along to avoid conflict [. ] with people whose relationships I valued,” she said.

Instead, Friedman vented in a secret Facebook group that she said was a “safe space” where she could “commiserate with other people who also feel shut out from their regular life because of their views.”

But this month, Friedman couldn’t take it anymore and “came out of the closet,” deciding that if people dumped her over her politics, “they weren’t real friends after all.”

She’s hoping friends will give more weight to the person they’ve known for years, than whom she chooses to vote for.

Research finds that half of Americans stopped talking politics with someone.

How to disagree about politics without losing friends

There probably isn’t a more polarizing topic than politics, especially during an election year. It doesn’t matter who wins—almost half of the country will be angry their candidate didn’t become president or remain in office.

The divisiveness on social media is deafening. However, using a keypad is much different than facing people at a dinner table. Anyone can post snarky memes or sarcastic content on social platforms. Leave rude or even malicious comments on articles and even troll those who don’t have their same beliefs. The wild web gives some people a sense of freedom of their actions without consequences.

Living face-to-face

This has been an extremely challenging year. Not only has there been a heated election, but COVID-19 has everyone living a new normal. The unraveling of friendships due to the differences in how people are reacting to the pandemic has been overwhelming.

Now many are rethinking their holiday gatherings, but they also have to consider the conversations that are likely to take place.

According to PEW Research, almost half (45 percent) of Americans have stopped talking politics to someone because of something they said online or in person.

Can we discuss politics without sacrificing friendship?

It likely depends on the person, but hopefully in most cases — yes.

A conversation is an exchange of thoughts, ideas, and opinions. If you know that your friend has opposite political views, you should be prepared for their viewpoint.

These are times we have to challenge ourselves to be uncomfortable and put our friendship over politics. The fact is, in many situations, your friend or family member is the person that is there for you when you’re having a bad day, battling with your kids or maybe going through a divorce.

Try to call your congressperson and vent to them about your boss or partner? Give your commissioner a call about your landscaping problem? You likely will never hear back from them — except for a generic email saying they have received your note and it will be read.

Your friend is much more valuable than any candidate, politician or election year. Find a way to agree to disagree. Understand that as much as you attempt to have them see things your way, you will likely never change their mind — same as they are probably not going to change your mind.

3 Ways to navigate political conversations

  1. Become self-aware of your body language and tone. When you are talking to your friends, don’t shrug your shoulders, roll your eyes, or make snarky comments. Be engaged and interested. If we all start listening to each other, rather than raising voices or arguing, it’s less likely friendships will be crumbling. No one wins when tempers flare and feelings get hurt. Remember, silence is golden.
  2. Limit your time online. According to research, adults can spend up to 11 hours a day interacting on social media. There is nothing wrong with using the unfollow or mute feature on a friend that tends to overshare political updates that you don’t agree with or you aren’t interested in. They don’t receive notifications that you have done this and your newsfeed will be less stressful for you. By budgeting your time online, you will find the places that keep you well-informed on the topics that most interest you.
  3. Character counts. You can’t control how other people behave, but you can control how you respond to them (and how you behave). Never forget how you react is a reflection of your character both online and offline. It’s one thing to be passionate about your beliefs and politics, it’s another when it crosses the line into cruelty and harm.

It’s time to have mutual respect for each other no matter what political affiliation we are, and choose compassion over conflict.

How to disagree about politics without losing friends

Voters walk away from the Xfinity Center on October 31, 2020. The center was used as an early voting location for Prince Georges County. (Ines Donfack/The Diamondback)

Views expressed in opinion columns are the author’s own.

Our country is in a period of widespread political unrest. Police brutality, gun violence, the climate crisis and the elimination of women’s rights are just a few of the issues we are facing. And with the grueling presidential election, the United States is divided: science versus religion, Democrat versus Republican, life versus death. One unspoken rule has helped maintain relationships between friends, family members and coworkers: Do not discuss politics. But in a year like 2020, there are no rules.

The election arguably revolved around response to death and destruction. With the onset of the coronavirus pandemic that has claimed the lives of over 238,000 Americans, the police killings of 164 Black Americans this year alone and the sense of pain and suffering that results when 64 percent of the country distrusts its leadership, many people live in constant fear for not only their own well-being, but also for that of others.

For many college students, discussing politics is unavoidable; whether in class or our social circles, people tend to have strong feelings about the future of the nation. Although we can often expect disagreements with others in the real world, it is all the more confusing when our “friends” disagree on important issues that put human lives at risk.

Hearing a friend speak in support of an ideology you despise can feel like a personal betrayal. One can find themselves questioning the morals of their friends who support candidates with an outdated or oppressive agenda — and rightfully so. The stakes for this election and its aftermath are too high to maintain friendships with those who support hate; thousands of people have already died and suffered as a result of poor leadership.

As a country, if we ever want true change to occur, we cannot continue to overlook the moral downfalls of those closest to us. Change starts on a small scale — if we cannot begin to hold our friends to the highest standard, how can we expect to do the same for our nation’s leaders?

There is simply less room to disagree on politics when those political views intersect with morality. It’s not like you are arguing over where to eat or what movie to see — it would be difficult to find common ground with someone, let alone maintain a stable relationship, when you can’t even agree on which civil rights matter the most. Would you be best friends with someone who supports the revocation of your rights or the rights of others?

I’m not saying that we should shut out people with opposing viewpoints. Actually, the opposite is true. It would be incredibly difficult, if not impossible, to avoid opinions that do not align with our own when 33 percent of voters identify as Democrats and 29 percent as Republicans, even without factoring in the remaining number of independent or third-party voters. We need to be open to hearing others’ opinions so that we get a better understanding of the world. However, we have the ability to pick and choose our friends based on shared morals, goals and interests.

If your values do not align, the foundation of a relationship is missing. The line between what is acceptable and what is not is crossed when two friends disagree on basic human rights, whatever you consider those to be.

In the end, you are not losing a friend over politics — you are losing a friend over differing views on people’s rights. And to me, there is no room for debate when it comes to the value of human life.

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The 2016 election has been an intensely personal race between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. Experts say the mudslinging between candidates is trickling down to the general public. What’s an avowed Hillary-hater to do when she finds out her best friend has an “I’m With Her” sticker on her car? How does a dyed-in-the-wool Democrat handle the news that her father donated to Trump?

Politics can involve deeply held values and personal beliefs; it’s too glib to simply tell people to “play nice,” said Joshua Klapow, a clinical psychologist at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Klapow hosts a radio show on relationships and has seen an outpouring of angst over political differences between families and friends this election season.

“We have bled over in many cases from beliefs and passion to criticism and contempt with our peers,” Klapow told Live Science. [Election Day 2016: A Guide to the When, Why, What and How]

“People are blowing it,” he added. “They’re ruining friendships.”

What’s more, he said, the skills needed to argue politics productively are the same needed to manage disagreements about money, religion — even household chores. That’s why Klapow wants to see more people pull it together and find a way to have difficult conversations without destroying relationships. Here are some tips from Klapow:

1. Be prepared

If you’re ready for the possibility of uncomfortable conversations, you’re less likely to be caught off guard, Klapow said. In an election season like this one, you’re likely to hear statements you vehemently disagree with from friends, family and acquaintances.

2. Think before you respond

Don’t respond reflexively to an offhand comment or social media post. A knee-jerk response gives you no chance to ask, “Can I be friends or acquaintances with this person even though they see the world differently than I do?” Klapow said. Hold off until you decide whether it’s worth jumping in.

“Think before you act,” he said. “Allow for differences in your social and love circle. And if you can’t, be absolutely sure that you can’t.”

You may feel you don’t want that person’s friendship if you can’t agree on particular issues, Klapow said, but think carefully as you make that call.

“Is this worth my time and energy, and what will I gain and what will I lose by going down this route with this person?” Klapow said. “You’d better be honest with those answers.”

2. Remember that campaigns have a job

The Clinton and Trump campaigns are doing their jobs when they fuel the fires of hatred toward the other candidate. Remember that the person you’re talking with is influenced by the public discourse (as are you), Klapow warned.

“Weigh the impact of the campaign’s message and this person’s political views on who they actually are as a person,” he said. Don’t assume the worst possible motivations on the part of the other person. Republicans and Democrats encompass large groups of people who don’t think in lockstep on every issue. [Life’s Extremes: Democrat vs. Republican]

“We have to absolutely stop ourselves and ask ourselves if they are voting for a different party, do we know what that actually means about their individual beliefs about social, political and fiscal issues,” Klapow said. “The answer is most of the time, ‘No, we have no freaking clue.'”

4. Engage with respect, if you’re going to engage

If you decide you’re willing to accept the risks of a political discussion, do it with good grace.

“What you owe the other person is respect of their humanity. You may not owe them anything else, but you owe them that,” Klapow said. “If you’re going to have a debate, engage with them such that their political views don’t instantaneously become your criticism of them personally, which is exactly a problem people have in arguing in general.”

Klapow suggested fighting that urge with tips taken from the work of John Gottman, a psychologist who studies successful marriage and parenting strategies.

Keep cool. Take a few minutes to let your emotions simmer down so you can think clearly.

Soften your approach. Bring up topics of disagreement without blame, anger or criticism.

Talk about your feelings and use statements starting with “I” to communicate what you’re experiencing and why. Don’t argue with what you think (maybe mistakenly) that the other person is feeling.

Think before you speak. Rash words can do more harm than good, Klapow said.

End on a good note. Try to alleviate the tension with humor or at least a change of subject so you clear the negativity from the air before the conversation ends.

“There is no reason for us not to have heated arguments and still retain our relationships with people,” Klapow said. “That’s the part, to me, that has gone awry.”

Original article on Live Science.

Do you have a relationship that is struggling over a disagreement?

With everything going on in the world and our society, there is a lot of fighting and division happening all around us.

In this episode, Kimberly shares five things you can do when a disagreement challenges you. Many of us have encountered conversations about politics, and we’re quick to stand our ground, believe what we believe, and disagree with the other side. But, you’ll learn how to have a respectful conversation when you disagree and come out of it with more love and appreciation for the other person once you seek to understand.

Our psychological default is to fight to get our way and not be wrong. But we have to fight against that if we want to have a better society, if we’re going to have better relationships and want to be the best version of ourselves.

Today’s Speaker: Kimberly Beam Holmes, Expert in Self-Improvement and Relationships

Kimberly Beam Holmes has applied her master’s degree in psychology for over 10 years, acting as the CEO of Marriage Helper & CEO and Creator of PIES University, being a wife and mother herself, and researching the ways that attraction affects relationships. Her videos, podcasts, and following reaches over 200,000 people a month who are making changes and becoming the best that they can be.

Get the Attraction Assessment by visiting PIESUniversity.com, scroll down and wait for the pop-up.

  • How to have respectful conversations, so you seek to understand
  • Five key points to remember when you disagree with someone
  • No matter what the disagreement is, we are all on the same team

    Season 2, Ep 69: How to Disagree Without Losing Friends or Family with Kimberly Beam Holmes

    Ако сте загубили приятели или сте развили спорни отношения по време на тези президентски избори, не сте сами. Избягването на политически разговори с близки – и прекратяването на следенето или скриването на тези в социалните медии с противоположни възгледи – се превърна в общ механизъм за справяне през тези дълги месеци, водещи до 8 ноември.

    И макар че това може да е пътят на най-малкото съпротивление, експертите от Техническия университет на Вирджиния призовават американците да преразгледат това поведение.

    „Трябва да намерим начини да симпатизираме и да се разбираме, въпреки различията си, ако искаме да разрешим безбройните предизвикателства, пред които сме изправени“, каза Тод Шенк, д-р, асистент по обществени и международни въпроси, в прессъобщение. „Вместо да избягваме, трябва да мислим как можем да съществуваме съвместно.”

    Шенк има изследвания в подкрепа на своето мнение: за да види дали взаимодействието лице в лице между хора с противоположни вярвания може да увеличи чувствата на съпричастност между тях, той наскоро проведе експеримент, който нарича The Frenemies Project. Проектът събра хора, които са имали силни убеждения от двете страни относно горещ политически въпрос – в този случай имиграцията – които иначе биха имали малък контакт помежду си.

    Доброволците участваха в няколко сценария, предназначени да улеснят диалога между двете страни, включително ролева игра, в която бяха помолени да аргументират накратко възгледа, срещу който се противопоставиха, и дискусии един на един, в които сравняваха различията и приликите си.

    Дейностите не промениха мнението на никого за това от коя страна на проблема са (знаехте, че няма да е толкова лесно). „Всички си тръгнаха точно толкова страстни, колкото бяха, когато пристигнаха“, казва Шенк пред RealSimple.com.

    Но те оставиха да усещат повече разбиране на възгледите на другите хора, а в някои случаи и по-склонни да намерят компромис. „Опитът им даде шанс да оценят други гледни точки и да се видят един друг като истински хора, така че чувстваха по-малко гняв“, казва той.

    Това чувство – съпричастност – е крайно необходимо в такъв поляризиран политически климат, съгласен е психологът Скот Гелър, д-р, директор на Центъра за приложни поведенчески системи на Virginia Tech. Не само може да ни помогне да се отнасяме по-добре един към друг, но може да предпази от феномен, известен като пристрастие към потвърждението.

    Предубеждението за потвърждение възниква, когато четем и следваме източници на новини (и мнения), които подкрепят това, в което вече вярваме, и филтрираме тези, които противоречат на нашите възгледи. Това се случва естествено въз основа на хората, с които избираме да прекарваме време и къде избираме да работим или да прекарваме време. Но това се влошава от самоизбиращия се характер на социалните медии, казва Гелър за RealSimple.com – още повече, когато курираме нашите новини, свеждащи само до гласовете, които искаме да чуем.

    Това може да не звучи толкова зле – в края на краищата вашата страна е тази право страна, мислиш; защо трябва да губите време и да се стресирате, като се излагате на погрешно един?

    Защото може да научите нещо ценно за другата страна, казва Гелър, или дори за себе си и собствените си възгледи.

    „Ако запазим възгледите си поверителни или взаимодействаме само с хора, които подкрепят тези възгледи, никога няма да можем да ги тестваме на глас“, казва той. „Ако тествам възприятията си за кандидат, като изкажа мнението си на някой, който се чувства различно, може да разбера, че съм малко по-различен; може би не се чувствам толкова силно, колкото си мислех. Може би другият човек също прави добри точки.”

    Разбира се, това е по-лесно да се каже, отколкото да се направи, особено когато страстите са нагорещени и дезинформацията е навсякъде. Така че, докато Гелър препоръчва да бъдете отворени за политиката, той също има някои предложения как да го правите по здравословен и продуктивен начин.

    • Задавайте въпроси. Ако приятел или познат е категоричен относно гледната точка, с която не сте съгласни, подходете към разговора по неагресивен, недиректен начин, казва Гелър: „Започнете, като попитате за мнението на другия човек – „Можете ли да обясните защо чувстваш ли се така?’-и тогава дайте собствено мнение в отговор.”
    • Признайте мнението им. „Отговорете им, като им кажете:„ Разбирам, че идвате от различно място и защо се чувствате така. Ето моят произход и защо се чувствам различно“, казва Гелър. Признаването, че всеки има свои собствени пристрастия, може да помогне на другия да види и вашата страна.
    • Вземете го офлайн. Може да бъде изключително трудно да изразите състрадание към социалните медии, казва Гелър, особено в полупубличен форум като Facebook. (Въпреки че той е силен привърженик на говоренето в обществото за политика, той не е привърженик на публикуването на политически възгледи в социалните медии.) Ако наистина смятате, че поведението на някого онлайн застрашава връзката ви, казва той, най-добре е да спрете изборните разговори -и, да, може би дори да скрият публикациите им временно – докато не можете да седнете лице в лице.
    • Дайте съвет, ако трябва. Имате ли приятел, който непрекъснато споделя запалителни меми или явно фалшиви статии? Може да им изпратите приятелска бележка, казва Гелър: „Бих казал нещо от рода на: „Чех публикациите ви и те се натъкват на доста силни и може да оказвате влияние върху някои нагласи за вас, които са неоправдани.“ ” Да се ​​надяваме, че той или тя ще приеме съвета ви и ще го смекчи.
    • Бъдете отразяващи, а не реактивни. И накрая, уверете се, че следвате същите основни правила, които бихте очаквали от другите, казва той. И помислете два пъти, преди да публикувате нещо, което може да генерира остра обратна връзка или да ви доведе до изтощителен спор напред-назад. През повечето време ще се радвате, че сте се въздържали.
    • Ако всичко друго се провали, понижи връзката си. Ако тези избори разкриват личностни черти на хора, които просто не можете да приемете – ако познат или роднина публикува расистки или сексистки изказвания, например, и не може да осъзнае защо са обидни – може да е време да преоценете статуса им в живота си и във вашата социална емисия. „Със сигурност има моменти, когато повече взаимодействие просто няма да помогне и всъщност може да навреди“, казва Шенк, който добавя, че да бъдеш добър „враг“ изисква ангажираност и от двете страни. „Никой не трябва да толерира реч или поведение, което е дискриминационно, обидно или по друг начин морално осъдително за него.“ (Вижте съвети за раздяла с приятел тук.)

    Шенк, чието изследване се фокусира върху съвместното планиране и вземане на решения, също препоръчва да се поправят увредените отношения, ако е възможно, след като изборите приключат и напрежението не е толкова високо.

    Всъщност той е наречен 9 ноември Национален ден на враговете. „Трябва да е като ден за детоксикация, когато седнем и пием кафе с хора, които сме избягвали или с които сме се карали, и наистина започваме да участваме в разговори“, казва той.

    Най-добрият съвет на Шенк обаче може да се използва сега: Бъдете вежливи и не се всмуквайте в калта, която поглъща толкова голяма част от тази кампания.

    “Яростта и враждебността през този изборен сезон наистина достигнаха нови висоти”, казва той. “Трябва да намерим начини да оценим човечността на другия, дори когато не сме съгласни.”

    Ha elveszítette barátait vagy vitás kapcsolatokat alakított ki az elnökválasztás során, nem vagy egyedül. A szeretteivel folytatott politikai beszélgetések elkerülése – és az ellentétes nézeteket valló közösségi médiában élők követésének megszüntetése vagy elrejtése – általános megküzdési mechanizmussá vált a november 8-ig tartó hosszú hónapok túlélésében.

    És bár ez lehet a legkisebb ellenállás útja, a Virginia Tech University szakértői arra kérik az amerikaiakat, hogy gondolják át ezt a magatartást.

    „Meg kell találnunk a módját annak, hogy a különbözőségeink ellenére együtt érezzünk és megértsünk egymással, ha meg akarjuk oldani az előttünk álló számtalan kihívást” – mondta Todd Schenk, Ph.D., a köz- és nemzetközi ügyek adjunktusa. egy sajtóközleményt. „Ahelyett, hogy elkerülnénk, azon kell gondolkodnunk, hogyan tudunk együtt élni.”

    Schenk kutatásai alátámasztják nézetét: annak megállapítására, hogy az ellentétes meggyőződésű emberek közötti személyes interakció növelheti-e közöttük az empátiát, nemrégiben végzett egy kísérletet, amelyet The Frenemies Projectnek nevez. A projekt olyan személyeket hozott össze, akiknek mindkét oldalon erős meggyőződésük volt egy-egy forrógombos politikai témában – jelen esetben a bevándorlással –, akik egyébként alig érintkeznének egymással.

    Az önkéntesek több olyan forgatókönyvben is részt vettek, amelyek a két fél közötti párbeszédet hivatottak elősegíteni, beleértve a szerepjátékokat, amelyek során röviden érveltek az ellenzéki nézetükön, valamint egy-egy megbeszélésen, ahol összehasonlították különbségeiket és hasonlóságaikat.

    A tevékenységek senkinek sem változtatták meg a véleményét arról, hogy a probléma melyik oldalán álltak (tudtad, hogy ez nem lesz olyan egyszerű). „Mindenki ugyanolyan szenvedélyesen távozott, mint amikor megérkezett” – mondja Schenk a RealSimple.com-nak.

    De hagyták, hogy jobban megértsék mások nézeteit, és bizonyos esetekben hajlandóbbak kompromisszumot találni. „A tapasztalat lehetőséget adott számukra, hogy értékeljenek más nézőpontokat, és valódi embereknek lássák egymást, így kevesebb haragot éreztek” – mondja.

    Erre az érzésre-empátiára nagy szükség van egy ilyen polarizált politikai légkörben – ért egyet Scott Geller pszichológus, Ph.D., a Virginia Tech’s Center for Applied Behavior Systems igazgatója. Nemcsak abban segíthet, hogy jobban bánjunk egymással, de védelmet is nyújthat a megerősítési torzításként ismert jelenség ellen.

    A megerősítő torzítás akkor következik be, amikor olyan hír- (és vélemény-) forrásokat olvasunk és követünk, amelyek alátámasztják azt, amit már hiszünk, és kiszűrjük azokat, amelyek ellentétesek nézeteinkkel. Ez természetesen attól függ, hogy kikkel töltjük az időt, és hol választjuk a munkát vagy az időt. De a helyzetet tovább rontja a közösségi média önkiválasztó jellege, Geller azt mondja a RealSimple.com-nak, még inkább, ha hírfolyamainkat csak azokra a hangokra válogatjuk, amelyeket hallani akarunk.

    Ez talán nem hangzik olyan rosszul – elvégre a te oldalad az jobb oldalra, gondolod; miért kellene időt vesztegetned és stresszelni azzal, hogy kiteszed magad a rossz egy?

    Mert megtudhatsz valami értékeset a másik oldalról, mondja Geller, vagy akár magadról és a saját nézeteidről.

    „Ha nézeteinket titokban tartjuk, vagy csak olyanokkal lépünk kapcsolatba, akik támogatják ezeket a nézeteket, soha nem tudjuk hangosan tesztelni őket” – mondja. „Ha próbára teszem a jelöltről alkotott elképzeléseimet úgy, hogy elmondom a véleményemet valakinek, aki másképp érzi magát, rájöhetek, hogy egy kicsit el vagyok tévedve. talán nem érzem magam olyan erősen, mint gondoltam. Lehet, hogy a másik személy is jó pontokat fogalmaz meg.”

    Természetesen ezt könnyebb mondani, mint megtenni, különösen akkor, ha a szenvedélyek tombolnak, és mindenhol félretájékoztatás van. Tehát bár Geller azt ajánlja, hogy legyünk nyitottak a politikával kapcsolatban, van néhány javaslata is, hogyan tegyük ezt egészségesen, produktív módon.

    • Kérdéseket feltenni. Ha egy barátod vagy ismerősöd hangot ad egy olyan nézetről, amellyel nem értesz egyet, ne agresszív, nem irányító módon közelítsd meg a beszélgetést, mondja Geller: „Kezdje azzal, hogy kikéri a másik személy véleményét – „El tudná magyarázni, miért te így érzed?’-és azután válaszul mondd el a saját véleményedet.”
    • Ismerje el véleményüket. „Válaszolj nekik azzal, hogy „Megértem, hogy más helyről jössz, és miért érzel így. Itt van a hátterem, és hogy miért érzem magam másképp” – mondja Geller. Ha beismered, hogy mindenkinek megvannak a maga elfogultságai, az segíthet a másik személynek is látni a te oldaladat.
    • Tegye offline állapotba. Rendkívül nehéz lehet együttérzést kifejezni a közösségi médiában, mondja Geller, különösen egy olyan félig nyilvános fórumon, mint a Facebook. (Bár erős híve a politikáról való társadalmi beszédnek, nem rajong a politikai nézeteinek közösségi médiában való közzétételéért.) Ha valóban úgy érzi, hogy valaki online viselkedése veszélyezteti a kapcsolatát, akkor a legjobb, ha felfüggeszti a választási beszélgetést. -és igen, talán ideiglenesen el is rejthetik a bejegyzéseiket, amíg le nem ülhetsz szemtől szemben.
    • Adj tanácsot, ha kell. Van olyan barátod, aki folyamatosan lázító mémeket vagy kirívóan hamis cikkeket oszt meg? Lehet, hogy küldhetsz nekik egy baráti levelet, mondja Geller: „Valami ilyesmit mondanék: „Olvastam a bejegyzéseidet, és elég erősnek tűnnek, és lehet, hogy olyan attitűdöket befolyásolsz magaddal kapcsolatban, amelyek indokolatlanok”. ” Remélhetőleg megfogadja a tanácsát, és enyhíti azt.
    • Legyen tükröző, ne reaktív. Végül győződjön meg arról, hogy ugyanazokat az alapszabályokat követi, amelyeket másoktól elvár – mondja. És kétszer is gondolja meg, mielőtt közzétesz valamit, ami kemény visszajelzést generálhat, vagy kimerítő oda-vissza vitába sodorhat. Legtöbbször örülni fog, ha visszatartotta magát.
    • Ha minden más nem sikerül, rontsa le a kapcsolatát. Ha ez a választás olyan személyiségjegyeket hoz ki az emberekből, amelyeket egyszerűen nem tud elfogadni – ha például egy ismerőse vagy rokona rasszista vagy szexista randalírozást tesz közzé, és nem tudja megérteni, miért sértő –, akkor itt az ideje, hogy értékelje át státuszukat az életében és a közösségi hírfolyamában. “Bizonyára vannak olyan esetek, amikor a több interakció egyszerűen nem segít, sőt, árthat” – mondja Schenk, aki hozzáteszi, hogy a jó “ellenség” mindkét fél elkötelezettségét követeli meg. “Senki sem tűrheti el a számára diszkriminatív, sértő vagy erkölcsileg más módon elítélendő beszédet vagy viselkedést.” (Nézze meg a barátjával való szakításra vonatkozó tanácsokat itt.)

    Schenk, akinek kutatása az együttműködésen alapuló tervezésre és döntéshozatalra fókuszál, a megromlott kapcsolatok javítását is javasolja, ha lehetséges, miután a választások lezajlottak, és a feszültség már nem olyan magas.

    Valójában november 9-ét a Nemzeti Frenemies Day-nek nevezték el. „Olyannak kell lennie, mint egy méregtelenítő napnak, amikor leülünk kávézni olyan emberekkel, akiket elkerültünk, vagy akikkel veszekedtünk, és valóban elkezdünk beszélgetni” – mondja.

    Schenk legjobb tanácsa azonban most hasznosítható: Maradjon civil, és ne szívjon bele a kampány során oly sokat emésztett sárdobálásba.

    “A vitriol és az ellenségeskedés ebben a választási szezonban valóban új magasságokat ért el” – mondja. “Meg kell találnunk a módját annak, hogy értékeljük egymás emberségét, még akkor is, ha nem értünk egyet.”

    Research finds that half of Americans stopped talking politics with someone.

    How to disagree about politics without losing friends

    There probably isn’t a more polarizing topic than politics, especially during an election year. It doesn’t matter who wins—almost half of the country will be angry their candidate didn’t become president or remain in office.

    The divisiveness on social media is deafening. However, using a keypad is much different than facing people at a dinner table. Anyone can post snarky memes or sarcastic content on social platforms. Leave rude or even malicious comments on articles and even troll those who don’t have their same beliefs. The wild web gives some people a sense of freedom of their actions without consequences.

    Living face-to-face

    This has been an extremely challenging year. Not only has there been a heated election, but COVID-19 has everyone living a new normal. The unraveling of friendships due to the differences in how people are reacting to the pandemic has been overwhelming.

    Now many are rethinking their holiday gatherings, but they also have to consider the conversations that are likely to take place.

    According to PEW Research, almost half (45 percent) of Americans have stopped talking politics to someone because of something they said online or in person.

    Can we discuss politics without sacrificing friendship?

    It likely depends on the person, but hopefully in most cases — yes.

    A conversation is an exchange of thoughts, ideas, and opinions. If you know that your friend has opposite political views, you should be prepared for their viewpoint.

    These are times we have to challenge ourselves to be uncomfortable and put our friendship over politics. The fact is, in many situations, your friend or family member is the person that is there for you when you’re having a bad day, battling with your kids or maybe going through a divorce.

    Try to call your congressperson and vent to them about your boss or partner? Give your commissioner a call about your landscaping problem? You likely will never hear back from them — except for a generic email saying they have received your note and it will be read.

    Your friend is much more valuable than any candidate, politician or election year. Find a way to agree to disagree. Understand that as much as you attempt to have them see things your way, you will likely never change their mind — same as they are probably not going to change your mind.

    3 Ways to navigate political conversations

    1. Become self-aware of your body language and tone. When you are talking to your friends, don’t shrug your shoulders, roll your eyes, or make snarky comments. Be engaged and interested. If we all start listening to each other, rather than raising voices or arguing, it’s less likely friendships will be crumbling. No one wins when tempers flare and feelings get hurt. Remember, silence is golden.
    2. Limit your time online. According to research, adults can spend up to 11 hours a day interacting on social media. There is nothing wrong with using the unfollow or mute feature on a friend that tends to overshare political updates that you don’t agree with or you aren’t interested in. They don’t receive notifications that you have done this and your newsfeed will be less stressful for you. By budgeting your time online, you will find the places that keep you well-informed on the topics that most interest you.
    3. Character counts. You can’t control how other people behave, but you can control how you respond to them (and how you behave). Never forget how you react is a reflection of your character both online and offline. It’s one thing to be passionate about your beliefs and politics, it’s another when it crosses the line into cruelty and harm.

    It’s time to have mutual respect for each other no matter what political affiliation we are, and choose compassion over conflict.

    Si ha perdido amigos o desarrollado relaciones polémicas en el transcurso de esta elección presidencial, no está solo. Evitar conversaciones políticas con seres queridos, y dejar de seguir u ocultar a aquellos en las redes sociales con puntos de vista opuestos, se ha convertido en un mecanismo común para hacer frente a estos largos meses previos al 8 de noviembre.

    Y si bien ese puede ser el camino de menor resistencia, los expertos de la Universidad Tecnológica de Virginia están instando a los estadounidenses a reconsiderar este comportamiento.

    “Necesitamos encontrar formas de empatizar y entendernos, a pesar de nuestras diferencias, si vamos a resolver la gran cantidad de desafíos que enfrentamos”, dijo Todd Schenk, Ph.D., profesor asistente de asuntos públicos e internacionales, en comunicado de prensa. “En lugar de evitar, deberíamos pensar en cómo podemos coexistir”.

    Schenk tiene investigaciones para respaldar su punto de vista: para ver si la interacción cara a cara entre personas con creencias opuestas podría aumentar los sentimientos de empatía entre ellos, recientemente realizó un experimento que llama The Frenemies Project. El proyecto reunió a personas que tenían fuertes creencias en ambos lados sobre un tema político candente, en este caso, la inmigración, que de otro modo tendrían poco contacto entre sí.

    Los voluntarios participaron en varios escenarios diseñados para facilitar el diálogo entre las dos partes, incluido el juego de roles en el que se les pidió que argumentaran brevemente el punto de vista al que se oponían y debates individuales en los que compararon sus diferencias y similitudes.

    Las actividades no cambiaron la opinión de nadie sobre de qué lado del problema estaban (sabías que no iba a ser tan fácil). “Todos se fueron tan apasionados como cuando llegaron”, le dice Schenk a RealSimple.com.

    Pero se fueron sintiéndose más comprensivos con los puntos de vista de otras personas y, en algunos casos, más dispuestos a llegar a un compromiso. “La experiencia les dio la oportunidad de apreciar otros puntos de vista y verse como personas reales, por lo que sintieron menos ira”, dice.

    Ese sentimiento, la empatía, es muy necesario en un clima político tan polarizado, concuerda el psicólogo Scott Geller, Ph.D., director del Centro de Sistemas de Comportamiento Aplicado de Virginia Tech. No solo puede ayudarnos a tratarnos mejor, sino que también puede protegernos contra un fenómeno conocido como sesgo de confirmación.

    El sesgo de confirmación ocurre cuando leemos y seguimos fuentes de noticias (y opiniones) que respaldan lo que ya creemos, y filtramos aquellas que van en contra de nuestros puntos de vista. Ocurre naturalmente según las personas con las que elegimos pasar el tiempo y dónde elegimos trabajar o pasar el tiempo. Pero empeora por la naturaleza de autoselección de las redes sociales, dice Geller a RealSimple.com, aún más cuando seleccionamos nuestras fuentes de noticias solo para las voces que queremos escuchar.

    Puede que eso no suene tan mal, después de todo, tu lado es el derecho lado, piensas; ¿Por qué deberías perder el tiempo y estresarte exponiéndote a la incorrecto ¿una?

    Porque podrías aprender algo valioso sobre el otro lado, dice Geller, o incluso sobre ti mismo y tus propios puntos de vista.

    “Si mantenemos nuestras opiniones en privado o solo interactuamos con personas que apoyan esas opiniones, nunca podremos probarlas en voz alta”, dice. “Si pongo a prueba mis percepciones de un candidato expresando mi opinión a alguien que se siente diferente, podría darme cuenta de que estoy un poco equivocado; tal vez no me siento tan fuerte como pensaba. Tal vez la otra persona también está haciendo buenos puntos”.

    Por supuesto, es más fácil decirlo que hacerlo, especialmente cuando las pasiones son altas y la información errónea está en todas partes. Entonces, si bien Geller recomienda ser abierto sobre política, también tiene algunas sugerencias para hacerlo de una manera saludable y productiva.

    • Hacer preguntas. Si un amigo o conocido expresa una opinión con la que no está de acuerdo, aborde la conversación de una manera no agresiva y no directiva, dice Geller: “Empiece preguntando la opinión de la otra persona: ‘¿Puede explicar por qué? ¿Te sientes así?’-y entonces da tu propia opinión en respuesta.”
    • Reconoce su punto de vista. “Respóndeles diciendo: ‘Entiendo que vienes de un lugar diferente y por qué te sientes así. Estos son mis antecedentes y por qué me siento diferente’”, dice Geller. Admitir que todos tienen sus propios prejuicios también puede ayudar a la otra persona a ver tu punto de vista.
    • Tómelo fuera de línea. Puede ser extremadamente difícil expresar compasión en las redes sociales, dice Geller, especialmente en un foro semipúblico como Facebook. (Si bien es un firme defensor de hablar socialmente sobre política, no es fanático de publicar puntos de vista políticos en las redes sociales). -y, sí, tal vez incluso ocultar sus publicaciones temporalmente- hasta que pueda sentarse cara a cara.
    • Da consejos, si es necesario. ¿Tienes un amigo que constantemente comparte memes incendiarios o artículos descaradamente falsos? Podrías enviarles una nota amistosa, dice Geller: “Diría algo como, ‘He estado leyendo tus publicaciones y me parecen bastante fuertes, y es posible que estés influyendo en algunas actitudes sobre ti que no están justificadas’. Con suerte, él o ella tomará su consejo y lo moderará.
    • Sea reflexivo, no reactivo. Finalmente, asegúrese de seguir las mismas reglas básicas que esperaría de los demás, dice. Y piénselo dos veces antes de publicar algo que pueda generar comentarios duros o llevarlo a una discusión agotadora de ida y vuelta. La mayoría de las veces, te alegrarás de haberte contenido.
    • Si todo lo demás falla, rebaje su relación. Si esta elección está sacando a relucir rasgos de personalidad en las personas que simplemente no puede aceptar, si un conocido o pariente está publicando diatribas racistas o sexistas, por ejemplo, y no puede darse cuenta de por qué son ofensivos, puede ser hora de reevalúe su estado en su vida y en su feed social. “Ciertamente hay momentos en los que una mayor interacción simplemente no ayudará y, de hecho, puede perjudicar”, dice Schenk, quien agrega que ser un buen “amienemigo” requiere un compromiso de ambas partes. “Nadie debe tolerar un discurso o comportamiento que sea discriminatorio, abusivo o moralmente reprobable para ellos”. (Vea los consejos para romper con un amigo aquí).

    Schenk, cuya investigación se centra en la planificación colaborativa y la toma de decisiones, también recomienda reparar las relaciones dañadas, si es posible, después de que terminen las elecciones y las tensiones no sean tan altas.

    De hecho, ha nombrado el 9 de noviembre Día Nacional de los Amigos. “Debería ser como un día de desintoxicación, cuando nos sentamos y tomamos un café con personas que hemos evitado o con las que hemos estado discutiendo, y realmente comenzamos a entablar conversaciones”, dice.

    Sin embargo, el mejor consejo de Schenk puede ponerse en práctica ahora: manténgalo civilizado y no se deje atrapar por las calumnias que han consumido gran parte de esta campaña.

    “El vitriolo y la animosidad en esta temporada electoral realmente han alcanzado nuevas alturas”, dice. “Necesitamos encontrar formas de apreciar la humanidad de los demás, incluso cuando no estamos de acuerdo”.

    Se hai perso amici o sviluppato relazioni controverse nel corso di queste elezioni presidenziali, non sei solo. Stare alla larga dalle conversazioni politiche con i propri cari – e smettere di seguire o nascondere quelli sui social media con opinioni opposte – è diventato un meccanismo comune di coping per superare questi lunghi mesi che portano all’8 novembre.

    E mentre questo potrebbe essere il percorso di minor resistenza, gli esperti della Virginia Tech University stanno esortando gli americani a riconsiderare questo comportamento.

    “Dobbiamo trovare modi per entrare in empatia e capirci, nonostante le nostre differenze, se vogliamo risolvere la miriade di sfide che dobbiamo affrontare”, ha affermato Todd Schenk, Ph.D., assistente professore di affari pubblici e internazionali, in un comunicato stampa. “Invece di evitare, dovremmo pensare a come possiamo convivere”.

    Schenk ha una ricerca a sostegno del suo punto di vista: per vedere se l’interazione faccia a faccia tra persone con convinzioni opposte potesse aumentare i sentimenti di empatia tra di loro, ha recentemente condotto un esperimento che chiama The Frenemies Project. Il progetto ha riunito individui che avevano forti convinzioni da entrambe le parti su una questione politica scottante – in questo caso, l’immigrazione – che altrimenti avrebbero pochi contatti tra loro.

    I volontari hanno preso parte a diversi scenari progettati per facilitare il dialogo tra le due parti, tra cui giochi di ruolo in cui è stato chiesto loro di argomentare brevemente il punto di vista a cui si opponevano e discussioni faccia a faccia in cui hanno confrontato le loro differenze e somiglianze.

    Le attività non hanno cambiato idea a nessuno su quale lato del problema si trovassero (sapevi che non sarebbe stato così facile). “Tutti se ne sono andati con la stessa passione di quando sono arrivati”, dice Schenk a RealSimple.com.

    Ma se ne sono andati sentendosi più comprensivi delle opinioni degli altri e, in alcuni casi, più disposti a trovare un compromesso. “L’esperienza ha dato loro la possibilità di apprezzare altri punti di vista e vedersi come persone reali, quindi hanno provato meno rabbia”, dice.

    Quel sentimento, l’empatia, è assolutamente necessario in un clima politico così polarizzato, concorda lo psicologo Scott Geller, Ph.D., direttore del Center for Applied Behavior Systems della Virginia Tech. Non solo può aiutarci a trattarci meglio, ma può proteggerci da un fenomeno noto come bias di conferma.

    Il bias di conferma si verifica quando leggiamo e seguiamo fonti di notizie (e opinioni) che supportano ciò in cui già crediamo e filtriamo quelle che vanno contro le nostre opinioni. Succede naturalmente in base alle persone con cui scegliamo di trascorrere del tempo e dove scegliamo di lavorare o trascorrere del tempo. Ma è aggravato dalla natura auto-selezionante dei social media, dice Geller a RealSimple.com, ancora di più quando curiamo i nostri feed di notizie solo sulle voci che vogliamo sentire.

    Potrebbe non suonare così male, dopotutto, la tua parte è la Giusto lato, pensi; perché dovresti perdere tempo e stressarti esponendoti al sbagliato uno?

    Perché potresti imparare qualcosa di prezioso sull’altro lato, dice Geller, o anche su te stesso e le tue opinioni.

    “Se manteniamo private le nostre opinioni o interagiamo solo con persone che supportano tali opinioni, non riusciamo mai a testarle ad alta voce”, afferma. “Se metto alla prova le mie percezioni su un candidato esprimendo la mia opinione a qualcuno che la pensa diversamente, potrei rendermi conto di essere un po’ fuori posto; forse non mi sento così forte come pensavo. Forse anche l’altra persona sta facendo buoni punti”.

    Certo, è più facile a dirsi che a farsi, soprattutto quando le passioni sono alte e la disinformazione è ovunque. Quindi, mentre Geller consiglia di essere aperto sulla politica, ha anche alcuni suggerimenti per farlo in modo sano e produttivo.

    • Fare domande. Se un amico o un conoscente parla di un punto di vista con cui non sei d’accordo, affronta la conversazione in modo non aggressivo e non direttivo, dice Geller: “Inizia chiedendo l’opinione dell’altra persona: ‘Puoi spiegare perché ti senti così?’-e poi esprimi la tua opinione in risposta.”
    • Riconosci il loro punto di vista. “Rispondi loro dicendo: ‘Capisco che vieni da un posto diverso e perché ti senti in quel modo. Ecco il mio background e il motivo per cui mi sento diversamente”, afferma Geller. Ammettere che ognuno ha i propri pregiudizi può aiutare anche l’altra persona a vedere la tua parte.
    • Portalo offline. Può essere estremamente difficile esprimere compassione sui social media, dice Geller, specialmente in un forum semi-pubblico come Facebook. (Sebbene sia un forte sostenitore del parlare socialmente di politica, non è un fan della pubblicazione di opinioni politiche sui social media.) Se ritieni davvero che il comportamento online di qualcuno stia mettendo a repentaglio la tua relazione, dice, è meglio sospendere i discorsi elettorali -e, sì, forse anche nascondere i loro post temporaneamente-finché non potrai sederti faccia a faccia.
    • Dai un consiglio, se necessario. Hai un amico che condivide costantemente meme incendiari o articoli palesemente falsi? Potresti inviare loro una nota amichevole, dice Geller: “Direi qualcosa del tipo: ‘Ho letto i tuoi post e stanno arrivando abbastanza forte, e potresti influenzare alcuni atteggiamenti nei tuoi confronti che sono ingiustificati.’ Se tutto va bene, lui o lei seguirà il tuo consiglio e lo smorzerà.
    • Sii riflessivo, non reattivo. Infine, assicurati di seguire le stesse regole di base che ti aspetteresti dagli altri, dice. E pensaci due volte prima di pubblicare qualcosa che potrebbe generare feedback duri o farti finire in un estenuante discussione avanti e indietro. La maggior parte delle volte, sarai felice di esserti trattenuto.
    • Se tutto il resto fallisce, declassa la tua relazione. Se questa elezione sta facendo emergere tratti della personalità nelle persone che semplicemente non puoi accettare – se un conoscente o un parente sta pubblicando sproloqui razzisti o sessisti, per esempio, e non è in grado di capire perché sono offensivi – potrebbe essere il momento di rivaluta il loro stato nella tua vita e nel tuo feed social. “Ci sono certamente momenti in cui una maggiore interazione non aiuta e può, in effetti, ferire”, afferma Schenk, che aggiunge che essere un buon “nemico nemico” richiede un impegno da entrambe le parti. “Nessuno dovrebbe tollerare discorsi o comportamenti discriminatori, offensivi o comunque moralmente riprovevoli nei loro confronti”. (Dai un’occhiata ai consigli per rompere con un amico qui.)

    Schenk, la cui ricerca si concentra sulla pianificazione collaborativa e sul processo decisionale, raccomanda anche di riparare le relazioni danneggiate, se possibile, dopo che le elezioni saranno terminate e le tensioni non saranno così alte.

    In effetti, è stato chiamato il 9 novembre National Frenemies Day. “Dovrebbe essere come una giornata di disintossicazione, quando ci sediamo e prendiamo un caffè con persone che abbiamo evitato o con cui abbiamo litigato, e iniziamo davvero a conversare”, dice.

    Il miglior consiglio di Schenk, tuttavia, può essere utilizzato ora: mantieni un comportamento civile e non farti risucchiare dal fango che ha consumato così tanto questa campagna.

    “Il vetriolo e l’animosità in questa stagione elettorale hanno davvero raggiunto nuove vette”, afferma. “Dobbiamo trovare il modo di apprezzare l’umanità dell’altro, anche quando non siamo d’accordo”.

    What difference does it make to the dead, the orphans and the homeless, whether the mad destruction is wrought under the name of totalitarianism or in the holy name of liberty or democracy?

    Politics has always been a very emotional topic for the highly political. I remember local tea shops in Kerala displayed ‘Politics discussion Not Allowed’ 20 years back. Local tea shops where gossip was exchanged, opinions were created seems to be a thing of the past. Social Media has quickly overtaken the heated discussions.

    An informed and involved public discourse about nation’s affairs was always considered to be sign of a healthy democracy. However, people on the left and right have become uncomfortable with the tensions created by such discussions.

    The rift between left and right is now starting to affect even personal relationships in the United States. Here are a few ideas to have a healthy political discussion.

    be very clear that you care about and respect the other side

    Most people intuitively know that no political leader comes to help you in your personal struggles. It’s friends and families who come to help. Some of my close friends tell me It is difficult to be friends with people at the opposite side of the political spectrum. I find this very sad. Once your friends know that while you may vehemently disagree with their politics, they are loved and respected, most of the emotion goes out of the window allowing for rational discussion to take place.

    We hold our own ideas with a lot of emotion. Rejection of our ideas feels almost a personal rejection. When your ideas are rejected by a friend, it hurts. Your natural instinct is to consider your friend a fool or treat him like an enemy. We are humans because we fight our natural instincts with rational thought, otherwise we are just apes.

    listen to understand, do not wait for your turn to reply.

    Most television debates are outright silly. My 7 year old son laughs when I watch television debates. Even he knows the participants are being stupid. Why don’t we ?

    Children have curiosity. Although they won’t obey, they do listen. They don’t obey because we don’t walk our talk. Adults have lost genuine curiosity. We do not want to know why the opponent holds an almost irrational view. The big question is. Am I wrong ?

    Confirmation bias is a real thing. It’s hard for us to accept ideas who conflict with our belief systems. That doesn’t mean that we are right. There is a possibility however small that we are wrong.

    left and right can agree

    There are just a few moral issues the right wing and left wing fundamentally disagree. Those differences are unlikely to be resolved any time soon. They are Purity, Loyalty and Authority. However, both left and right agree on values of Liberty, fairness and care.

    Purity

    The right wingers are generally not very open to new experiences , ideas and people unlike the left wing. As a result, they tend to be more religious, conservative and anti immigration. Changing a conservative’s view on these ideas is near futile. They will resist any changes to their own religious doctrines. They will not easily trust people from the other groups based on race, religion, nation and other such divides.

    LOYALTY, authority

    People on the right wing are likely to support a right wing government more than the left wing’s support for a left wing government.

    fairness, liberty, care

    Both left wing and right wing care about freedom, equality and oppose violence. This is the reason most liberal democracies are based on the values of fairness and liberty. If discussions have a common goal towards ensuring fairness, liberty and reduction of suffering, you will find a common ground.

    Author

    Professor of Communication, University at Buffalo

    Disclosure statement

    Melanie Green does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organisation that would benefit from this article, and has disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment.

    Partners

    University at Buffalo provides funding as a member of The Conversation US.

    Former Supreme Court Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Antonin Scalia were on opposite sides of the political spectrum. Yet despite their obvious legal disagreements, the liberal Ginsburg once described herself and the conservative Scalia as “best buddies.”

    This connection across ideological lines may seem surprising today. A striking feature of the current political moment is the extent to which it has affected personal relationships, with friendships fissuring over political issues.

    In fact, a recent Pew study showed just how deep that divide has become. The survey found that roughly 40% of registered voters said that they do not have a single close friend backing a different presidential candidate.

    The old mantra to “never discuss religion or politics” was a recognition that political differences can create awkward social situations. And research my colleagues and I conducted found that the mere prospect of discussing divisive topics can make you feel anxious and threatened.

    Yet something about our current moment seems to have put a particular strain on our personal relationships.

    As a social psychologist and communication researcher, I’ve noticed two key features of today’s political environment that are making friendships across the political divide challenging: the role of social media and the way in which political affiliations have become linked to morality and identity.

    Antisocial media

    While social media may have its benefits, it’s more difficult to have an in-depth, respectful discussion of issues while online. Written posts can be misinterpreted. The character limits of a tweet or post may prevent users from relaying the full complexity of their views, while the relative impersonality of online communication may make it easy to forget that there is a real person behind the screen.

    Furthermore, media companies have financial incentives to keep people engaged and enraged. Messages that are more emotional are more widely shared, thus people are more likely to see posts that fuel outrage toward the other side. Divisive content may also originate with trolls or disinformation campaigns intentionally designed to increase social division.

    How to disagree about politics without losing friends

    Identity and morality

    Second, it seems as though political issues are becoming more intertwined with individuals’ identities and sense of morality.

    When being a supporter of a particular politician or party is a strong part of one’s sense of identity, it may be easier to view the other side in a negative way.

    Humans have a need to belong and to be part of groups, and this “us versus them” mentality can arise even if people don’t have strong positions on political issues. Hearing a lot about politics as the election approaches keeps people focused on these identities.

    Politicians or media outlets can reinforce this sense of conflict. Politicians often attempt to draw contrasts between themselves and their opponents, sometimes by disparaging the supporters on the other side, whether it’s Hillary Clinton’s “basket of deplorables” comment during the 2016 election or Trump’s regular barrage of Twitter insults, which have included retweeting a video in which someone says, “The only good Democrat is a dead Democrat.”

    Then there are the issues that are highlighted. It’s one thing to disagree about tax policy. It’s quite another to disagree about whether certain groups deserve fundamental rights, or whether the other side supports “killing babies” or “locking kids in cages.”

    When one person believes the policies and politicians supported by another person are inherently evil or immoral, it’s difficult to maintain a friendship.

    [The Conversation’s science, health and technology editors pick their favorite stories. Weekly on Wednesdays.]

    Don’t forget the other 60%

    On the hopeful side, the Pew survey suggests that six in 10 registered voters do have close friends on the other side of the political divide.

    Just as so-called “red states” and “blue states” are all actually “purple states” – and contain people across the political spectrum – many Americans’ friendships remain intact, despite a stressful election cycle.

    These reminders of shared affection and values may help bring the country together no matter the outcome of November’s contentious election.

    This article was co-authored by Chloe Carmichael, PhD. Chloe Carmichael, PhD is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist who runs a private practice in New York City. With over a decade of psychological consulting experience, Dr. Chloe specializes in relationship issues, stress management, self esteem, and career coaching. She has also instructed undergraduate courses at Long Island University and has served as adjunct faculty at the City University of New York. Dr. Chloe completed her PhD in Clinical Psychology at Long Island University in Brooklyn, New York and her clinical training at Lenox Hill Hospital and Kings County Hospital. She is accredited by the American Psychological Association and is the author of “Nervous Energy: Harness the Power of Your Anxiety” and “Dr. Chloe’s 10 Commandments of Dating.”

    There are 8 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page.

    This article has been viewed 99,858 times.

    Most of the time when you make friends, you’re paying attention to what you have in common. You might enjoy their sense of humor, their kindness, their taste in music, or their willingness to help you out in a pinch. However, sometimes your friends will have political views that are very different from your own. Focusing on what you have in common, and learning to avoid political conversations will help you deal with friends who don’t share your own political views. When you do get into a disagreement, learning to patch things up will help your friendship endure.

    Bu başkanlık seçimi boyunca arkadaşlarınızı kaybettiyseniz veya çekişmeli ilişkiler geliştirdiyseniz, yalnız değilsiniz. 8 Kasım’a kadar olan bu uzun ayları atlatmak için sevdiklerinizle siyasi sohbetlerden uzak durmak ve sosyal medyada karşıt görüştekileri takipten çıkarmak veya gizlemek ortak bir başa çıkma mekanizması haline geldi.

    Ve bu en az direniş yolu olsa da, Virginia Tech Üniversitesi’ndeki uzmanlar Amerikalıları bu davranışı yeniden gözden geçirmeye çağırıyor.

    Kamu ve uluslararası ilişkiler alanında yardımcı doçent olan Todd Schenk, “Karşılaştığımız sayısız zorluğu çözeceksek, farklılıklarımıza rağmen empati kurmanın ve birbirimizi anlamanın yollarını bulmamız gerekiyor” dedi. Bir basın açıklaması. “Kaçınmak yerine, nasıl bir arada var olabileceğimizi düşünmeliyiz.”

    Schenk’in görüşünü destekleyecek araştırmaları var: Zıt inançlara sahip insanlar arasındaki yüz yüze etkileşimin, aralarındaki empati duygularını artırıp artırmayacağını görmek için yakın zamanda Frenemies Projesi adını verdiği bir deney yaptı. Proje, her iki tarafta da önemli bir siyasi mesele -bu durumda göçmenlik- hakkında güçlü inançları olan ve aksi takdirde birbirleriyle çok az teması olan bireyleri bir araya getirdi.

    Gönüllüler, karşı çıktıkları görüşü kısaca tartışmalarının istendiği rol oynama ve farklılıklarını ve benzerliklerini karşılaştırdıkları bire bir tartışmalar da dahil olmak üzere, iki taraf arasındaki diyaloğu kolaylaştırmak için tasarlanmış çeşitli senaryolarda yer aldı.

    Etkinlikler, konunun hangi tarafında oldukları konusunda kimsenin fikrini değiştirmedi (bunun o kadar kolay olmayacağını biliyordunuz). Schenk, RealSimple.com’a “Herkes geldiklerinde olduğu gibi tutkulu bir şekilde ayrıldılar” diyor.

    Ancak diğer insanların görüşlerini daha iyi anlamayı ve bazı durumlarda uzlaşma bulmaya daha istekli olmayı bıraktılar. “Deneyim onlara diğer bakış açılarını takdir etme ve birbirlerini gerçek insanlar olarak görme şansı verdi, böylece daha az öfke hissettiler” diyor.

    Virginia Tech’in Uygulamalı Davranış Sistemleri Merkezi müdürü psikolog Scott Geller, bu duygu-empatiye- böyle kutuplaşmış bir siyasi iklimde şiddetle ihtiyaç duyulduğunu kabul ediyor. Birbirimize daha iyi davranmamıza yardımcı olmakla kalmaz, aynı zamanda doğrulama yanlılığı olarak bilinen bir olguya karşı da koruma sağlayabilir.

    Onay yanlılığı, halihazırda inandığımız şeyleri destekleyen haber (ve görüş) kaynaklarını okuyup takip ettiğimizde ve görüşlerimize aykırı olanları filtrelediğimizde ortaya çıkar. Doğal olarak, zaman geçirmeyi seçtiğimiz insanlara ve çalışmayı veya zaman geçirmeyi seçtiğimiz yere bağlı olarak gerçekleşir. Geller, RealSimple.com’a, sosyal medyanın kendi kendini seçen doğasıyla daha da kötüleştiğini söylüyor; bu nedenle, haberlerimizi küratörlüğümüzde yalnızca duymak istediğimiz seslere göre besliyoruz.

    Bu kulağa o kadar da kötü gelmeyebilir-sonuçta sizin tarafınız sağ yan sizce; neden kendinizi tehlikeye atarak zaman kaybedip strese giresiniz ki? yanlış bir?

    Çünkü diğer taraf hakkında, hatta kendiniz ve kendi görüşleriniz hakkında değerli bir şeyler öğrenebilirsiniz, diyor Geller.

    “Görüşlerimizi gizli tutarsak veya yalnızca bu görüşleri destekleyen insanlarla etkileşime girersek, onları asla yüksek sesle test edemeyiz” diyor. “Farklı hisseden birine fikrimi dile getirerek bir aday hakkındaki algılarımı test edersem, biraz eksik olduğumu fark edebilirim; belki de düşündüğüm kadar güçlü hissetmiyorum. Belki diğer kişi de iyi puanlar alıyordur.”

    Tabii ki, bunu söylemek yapmaktan daha kolay, özellikle de tutkular yüksek olduğunda ve yanlış bilgiler her yerde olduğunda. Yani Geller siyaset konusunda açık olmayı tavsiye ederken, bunu sağlıklı ve üretken bir şekilde yapmak için bazı önerileri de var.

    • Sorular sor. Bir arkadaşınız veya bir tanıdık, katılmadığınız bir görüş hakkında yüksek sesle konuşuyorsa, konuşmaya agresif olmayan, yönlendirici olmayan bir şekilde yaklaşın, diyor Geller: “Diğer kişinin fikrini sorarak başlayın-‘Nedenini açıklayabilir misiniz? öyle mi hissediyorsun?’-ve sonra yanıt olarak kendi fikrinizi verin.”
    • Görüşlerini kabul edin. “Onlara, ‘Farklı bir yerden geldiğini ve neden böyle hissettiğini anlıyorum’ diyerek yanıt ver. İşte geçmişim ve neden farklı hissettiğim,” diyor Geller. Herkesin kendi önyargıları olduğunu kabul etmek, diğer kişinin de sizin tarafınızı görmesine yardımcı olabilir.
    • Çevrimdışına alın. Geller, özellikle Facebook gibi yarı halka açık bir forumda, sosyal medya üzerinden şefkat göstermenin son derece zor olabileceğini söylüyor. (Siyaset hakkında sosyal olarak konuşmanın güçlü bir savunucusu olsa da, sosyal medyada siyasi görüşler yayınlamanın hayranı değildir.) Birinin çevrimiçi davranışının ilişkinizi tehlikeye attığını gerçekten düşünüyorsanız, seçim konuşmasını askıya almanın en iyisi olduğunu söylüyor. -ve evet, belki de yüz yüze oturana kadar gönderilerini geçici olarak gizleyin.
    • Gerekirse tavsiye verin. Sürekli olarak kışkırtıcı memler veya bariz bir şekilde yanlış makaleler paylaşan bir arkadaşınız mı var? Onlara dostça bir not gönderebilirsiniz, diyor Geller: “’Gönderilerinizi okuyordum ve oldukça güçlü görünüyorlar ve hakkınızda yersiz bazı tutumları etkiliyor olabilirsiniz’ gibi bir şey söyleyebilirim. “Umarım tavsiyenizi dikkate alır ve sesini yumuşatır.
    • Tepkisel değil, yansıtıcı olun. Son olarak, diğerlerinden beklediğiniz aynı temel kuralları uyguladığınızdan emin olun, diyor. Ve sert geri bildirim oluşturabilecek veya sizi yorucu bir ileri geri tartışmaya sokabilecek bir şey göndermeden önce iki kez düşünün. Çoğu zaman, kendinizi tuttuğunuza memnun olacaksınız.
    • Her şey başarısız olursa, ilişkinizin seviyesini düşürün. Bu seçim, insanlarda kabul edemeyeceğiniz kişilik özelliklerini ortaya çıkarıyorsa – örneğin bir tanıdık veya akrabanız ırkçı veya cinsiyetçi sözler söylüyorsa ve neden saldırgan olduklarını anlayamıyorsa – zamanı gelmiş olabilir. hayatınızdaki ve sosyal beslemenizdeki durumlarını yeniden değerlendirin. İyi bir “çılgınlık” olmanın her iki tarafta da bağlılık gerektirdiğini ekleyen Schenk, “Daha fazla etkileşimin yardımcı olmayacağı ve aslında zarar verebileceği zamanlar kesinlikle vardır” diyor. “Hiç kimse ayrımcı, taciz edici veya ahlaki olarak kınanabilecek konuşma veya davranışlara müsamaha göstermemelidir.” (Bir arkadaştan ayrılma tavsiyesine buradan göz atın.)

    Araştırmaları işbirlikçi planlama ve karar verme üzerine odaklanan Schenk, mümkünse, seçim bittikten ve gerilimler o kadar yüksek olmadığında, zarar görmüş ilişkilerin onarılmasını da tavsiye ediyor.

    Aslında, 9 Kasım Ulusal Frenemiler Günü olarak adlandırıldı. “Kaçındığımız veya tartıştığımız insanlarla oturup kahve içtiğimiz ve gerçekten sohbet etmeye başladığımız bir detoks günü gibi olmalı” diyor.

    Yine de Schenk’in en iyi tavsiyesi şu anda kullanılabilir: Uygar olun ve bu kampanyanın çoğunu tüketen çamurlara bulaşmayın.

    “Bu seçim sezonundaki öfke ve düşmanlık gerçekten yeni zirvelere ulaştı” diyor ve ekliyor: “Aynı fikirde olmasak bile birbirimizin insanlığını takdir etmenin yollarını bulmalıyız.”

    How to disagree about politics without losing friends

    Talking about controversial topics with your political opposite can feel like an exercise in futility. One tip, experts say, is to establish common ground as quickly as you can. Malte Mueller/Getty Images/fStop hide caption

    Talking about controversial topics with your political opposite can feel like an exercise in futility. One tip, experts say, is to establish common ground as quickly as you can.

    Malte Mueller/Getty Images/fStop

    In a deeply divided America, a casual political debate can easily spiral into a shouting match — even if both parties set out to keep things civil. So how can we talk about thorny issues with people who fundamentally disagree with us?

    Over the past two months, NPR has been traveling the country for our series Civility Wars to see how Americans are grappling with the idea of civility in polarizing times. During that time, we heard from the new mayor of Charlottesville, Va., on why she’s wary of the very idea of civility; we reported on a gathering of political opposites trying to bridge the political divide; and we talked to two Twitter trolls who admit that their online feuds might be friendlier if they could just meet in person. Often, we heard the same thing: Talking across difference is hard.

    As part of the series, we also reached out to four people who’ve spent a lot of time thinking about how to have more respectful political conversations. Here’s what they told us.

    Starting the conversation

    The first tip from our experts is to carefully choose the moment to talk. You can’t force someone into a conversation about a contentious topic, says the Rev. Jennifer Bailey, the founder and executive director of Faith Matters Network, an organization that trains leaders and activists on how to create connected communities. Rather than “demanding a conversation,” Bailey recommends “extending an invitation.”

    It’s also important to avoid making snap judgments about people or writing them off based on their own background or your own assumptions. Bailey encourages people to “be brave” and assume others have good intentions.

    Another tip is to stay humble, says Karin Tamerius, a former psychiatrist and founder of Smart Politics, a nonprofit that teaches progressives activists how to communicate more effectively with people across the political spectrum. “While you may be well educated on a topic, you don’t necessarily have all the answers.”

    Lastly, avoid approaching your conversation from a zero-sum standpoint, says Arthur Brooks, president of the American Enterprise Institute, a conservative think tank, and author of Love Your Enemies: How Decent People Can Save America From the Culture of Contempt. As Brooks suggests, don’t view the conversation as an “I win, you lose” debate. Rather, consider it an opportunity to understand the other person and the reasons behind that person’s position, adds Bailey.

    Once you’re talking

    Establish common ground as quickly as you can, our experts advise. “It’s usually around things like values and goals and emotion” that we can find commonalities, says Tamerius. You can also discuss things you both love, like family or the outdoors. This will build trust and allow you to start connecting.

    The experts also agree that asking questions is the most important part of the conversation. Tamerius recommends using open-ended and nonjudgmental questions.

    For example, instead of saying, “How can you possibly overlook all the evidence on climate change?” you might ask, “What experiences have shaped your thinking on this issue?”

    Also, don’t let unwittingly offensive remarks short-circuit the conversation.

    “Don’t dismiss people just because they use a word or two that seems insensitive to you,” says Liz Joyner, the founder and CEO of the Village Square, a nonpartisan public educational forum.

    “You need to be understanding of the intention behind the word,” says Joyner. Consider who’s speaking and their life experience. “Give people the space to explain themselves.”

    Don’t attack someone’s personal beliefs either, because as Tamerius explains, we have strong emotional attachments to them.

    “We’re wired to defend them,” Tamerius says. “Our nervous systems treat attacks on our political beliefs the same way they respond to challenges to our physical safety. So if someone attacks my partisan attachments, I’m going to respond pretty much the same [way] I would respond if I were being attacked by a lion.”

    When it’s your turn to speak, it helps to explain how the issue affects you on a personal level. “Facts and figures rarely persuade,” says Joyner. Instead, she recommends “appealing to [others’] better angels rather than their inner statistician.”

    If things aren’t going well, our experts all caution against pushing the conversation too far. Tamerius says you should monitor the emotional response of your partner as well as your own to avoid a full-blown fight.

    “Be prepared to remove [yourselves] from the conversation before [you] reach a point where you’re fully triggered,” she says. If the conversation is getting heated, try pausing things, and don’t return to it until you are both ready.

    And if neither of you has changed your views by the end of the conversation, that’s fine, says Joyner. Remember, she says, “your goal isn’t to agree; it’s to disagree and keep talking.”

    This article was co-authored by Maggie Mitchell. Maggie Mitchell is a Life Coach and the Owner of InnerCoastal Coaching in Raleigh, North Carolina. With more than 15 years of experience, she specializes in helping individuals with communication, anxiety, stress, problem-solving, decision making, meditation, and healthy boundaries. Maggie holds an MS in Counseling Psychology from Gannon University and received her Executive Coach Certificate from The International Coaching Community (ICC).

    There are 11 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page.

    This article has been viewed 54,203 times.

    Politics and religion are topics that are often avoided in public settings and this can be especially true when with family. A discussion on a controversial topic such as politics requires willing participants, open minds and calm demeanors, or it can become quite tense. [1] X Expert Source

    How to disagree about politics without losing friends

    Maggie Mitchell
    Life Coach Expert Interview. 18 October 2021. This can be easier when the discussion takes place without family, but when with family, people often feel more comfortable and less controlled, making them more likely to be offensive or vulnerable. When at family gatherings you can avoid discussing politics with stubborn relatives by preventing the discussions altogether or redirecting them, should they occur.

    How to disagree about politics without losing friends

    How to disagree about politics without losing friends

    Maggie Mitchell
    Life Coach Expert Interview. 18 October 2021. Decide what you are and are not comfortable talking about with your family. It’s okay if some items are simply off limits for discussion, and you should pick your battles when it comes to politics and family. Draw lines when it comes to topics of discussion, and then stick by these lines to prevent yourself from getting sucked into an argument. [3] X Research source

    • This is where you should think about picking your battles. Some opinions will not change, and some subjects are simply not worth debating anymore. Maybe you know you and your Grandma Hattie will never agree on abortion. You also know you and your cousin Michael are simply not going to see eye-to-eye on gay marriage. These should both go on your mental list of off-limit topics.
    • If someone tries to ask you about something you’re not comfortable discussing, say so and shut down conversations before they start. [4] X Expert Source

    How to disagree about politics without losing friends

    Maggie Mitchell
    Life Coach Expert Interview. 18 October 2021. . For example, “Sorry, Aunt Louise, but I would really rather not share my views on abortion. I feel like that’s a very private subject for me, and I personally like to keep my opinions on the issue to myself.”

    How to disagree about politics without losing friends

    How to disagree about politics without losing friends

    How to disagree about politics without losing friends

    How to disagree about politics without losing friends

    Maggie Mitchell
    Life Coach Expert Interview. 18 October 2021. In some families, political arguments feel inevitable. No matter how hard you work to avoid triggers, you may inadvertently get dragged into an argument. Before attending an event, think of a few words to say to stop an argument before it begins. [8] X Research source

    • Think of a simple and respectful means of derailing a conversation. If your cousin is talking your ear off about abortion, and you strongly disagree with his views, say something like, “Thanks for sharing your perspective, but I guess we’ll have to agree to disagree.” If you’re dealing with a particularly argumentative person, and don’t want to openly disagree, you can try something like, “Interesting perspective. I’ll have to think about that.”
    • Stand firm. If someone keeps bringing up a topic, keep reiterating yourself. [9] X Expert Source

    How to disagree about politics without losing friends

    Maggie Mitchell
    Life Coach Expert Interview. 18 October 2021. For example, say you tell your cousin you have to “agree to disagree” on abortion, and he says, “Why is that? How do you feel?” Say something like, “Let’s just not get into it. It’s okay that we don’t feel the same way.”

    How to disagree about politics without losing friends

    How to disagree about politics without losing friends

    Maggie Mitchell
    Life Coach Expert Interview. 18 October 2021. If there’s one family member you strongly disagree with, you may want to make a point of avoiding discussing politics with that person. [11] X Research source You can also designate the area a hot topic free zone, avoiding any subject that can be polemic. [12] X Expert Source

    How to disagree about politics without losing friends

    Maggie Mitchell
    Life Coach Expert Interview. 18 October 2021.

      For example, you and your mother are polar opposites. You’re very conservative, while she’s very liberal. Try to agree, before a family event rolls around, to just not bring up anything political to keep the peace. [13] X Expert Source