How to talk about politics and not to run into conflict

how to talk about politics

My grandfather was a sailor. He went on a merchant ship and visited various distant countries. As a child I loved to listen to his stories — and he, dude, trust me, had something to tell. Thanks to grandpa I have learned one rule: «Never talk about politics and religion.» And he added this: «what then to speak? Of course, about women.»

You know, I think this advice is still useful, especially if you’re on a ship in the middle of the sea with a bunch of other dudes and you have to spend more than one month. Avoiding these topics, although you would not quarrel, if quarrel, it is not serious. And this rule is good for various soirees and other pompous events, when it is necessary to observe the situation of human decency and bombast.

On the other hand, politics has to say — often and enthusiastically. At all times men spoke about politics — from the Greek people’s assemblies and the Roman forums from the French salons and colonial America. For any well-educated person with a broad Outlook was a must the ability to intelligently discuss political issues of the day. In fact it was true: one of the main components of the education of young boys was training to defend his political position.

In our days almost no one is discussing the policy enthusiastically and at the same time in a respectful tone. New media present political situation is very subjective, focusing on the immediate and unimportant, paying more attention to loud, artificially created scandals and fanning the flames continued rivalry. Debate about politics between people in person and on the Internet quickly turned into a noisy showdown, where the transition of the individual is used instead of rational arguments.

This does not mean that our ancestors certainly were a model of civilized discussion. They too often lost control of himself and could insult his opponent. For example, when Theodore Roosevelt started his career and was a member of the new York Assembly, he often lost control of himself. Roosevelt called his opponents «cold-blooded, narrow-minded, biased, stubborn, cowardly, old acolyte from Indianapolis, pathetic politicians».

Because of these outbursts of anger, the young Roosevelt quickly became the laughing stock of the entire Assembly and the Newspapers of the state. After he offended an elderly member of the Assembly, he was no longer allowed there and he apologized for his misbehavior. He soon learned to control your anger and direct your emotions in a more constructive direction, not insulting their opponents.

Unlike the youth of those times, today’s men are not accustomed to apologize for my unruly behavior, especially when it comes to politics. We should learn how to speak on political issues. Here are some tips on how to behave in a less aggressive during political discussions.

If someone disagrees with you doesn’t mean he’s a bad person. As a rule, in political matters, it’s all about adhering to the same syllogism:

  • I’m smart and educated, and I believe that H.
  • The other guy believes Y.
  • So this dude is a complete idiot.

This is what lies at the heart of all disputes on political issues. Of course, to make such findings is a very attractive prospect. But wait. Your opponent still somehow showing signs of complete idiocy? Besides its political position, I mean. He graduated from the University? He has a normal job? He did like an adult? Well, there, can dress, eat, drips saliva on clothing? Certainly all the signs available. So he’s probably not an imbecile. He’s just another opinion. He was raised by other people, they instilled in him a different view. He had a completely different experience. His views on life, on justice, on social structure took shape in different conditions. Now that you understand what your interlocutor is not a moron, you can start a conversation about politics.

Try to understand someone else’s opinion

When you believe passionately in what may seem almost impossible that someone has a different opinion on seemingly such an obvious and clear issue. But since we all have different political preferences, it turns out to be possible. Take an interest in the political views of his companion and how he motivates them.

Deal with all the «how» and «why». A question like, «How can you think that?» and «Why don’t you get that wrong?» do not belong to the list of such questions. Ask why the opponent came to this conclusion, why he reads. Any serious and sincerely interested in what you answer. Ask to understand, not then to use this knowledge as a weapon. Do not hurry, do not get excited — really try to understand his opponent.

Read, watch and listen to media representing different points of view. Why debate about politics are hard? No one is working to look beyond their nose to seek out other sources of information. Instead of having to be a real platform for discussion, the media turns into some sort of farce, filled with talking heads who shout at each other in an attempt to disarm the opponent.

Every media outlet covers events biased, guided by close his political position. If you follow the media of only one political position, it simplifies your view of reality, makes it more flat. So you never see the reverse side of this process and will be killed in political debate, proving his innocence.

Let’s look facts in the face: we all love to watch as someone gets on the nuts. We love it when the guy from the TV says, what fools gathered in some kind of party. It helps us feel beautiful and at the same time makes our way of looking at things more flat. The danger is that we can become limited. Our ancestors did not just read any treatises and attended great performances, which then agreed. They listened eagerly to the arguments of their opponents. Make an effort: read, listen, watch the news, you may be you do not like, but which will make you better informed and able to make more Mature conclusions. If you look the First channel, for the experiment, switch to «Rain». If you only read the Tape.ru, go for a change on the website of «Kommersant».

Learn to concede when necessary

Since your opponent is not some Neanderthal, he’ll probably say something with which you can agree. Many people simply ignore such moments on deaf ears, considering that, by agreeing to an opponent even in the little things, they show their own weakness. Educated and self-confident man able to say: «Yes, it is. I didn’t think about it.» Even if you don’t agree with something, just to dilute his speech with a phrase like: «I understand why you think so» or «I Understand.»

Look, what’s your opinions converge

Even if you and your opponent hold opposite views, there are still a couple of things with which you both agree. It can be any number of platitudes and common places, but if you both agree with the same statement — not all bad; it means that you have to agree!

No need to fight

The person who cannot explain his thought in simple and understandable language, as a rule, resorted to insults. And it is not necessary to insult not only your companion, but also politicians. Expressive words very quickly turns the conversation into a meaningless cry. Express their opinion calmly and reasonably.

Stick to the facts

As the argument leads only to the facts, the truth of which is unquestionable. Different unverified personal correspondence, the transmission of pirate radio stations at 4 am that you listened and learned something, not an authoritative source. You can interpret the facts differently, but we need to interpret these facts.

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