4 Tips for Talking Politicsplanning ahead // on Tuesday August 30, 2016
With just over two months to go before Election Day 2016, campaign season is alive and well. It’s also hard to miss, considering all of the commercials, yard signs, social media posts and 24/7 news coverage surrounding the election. Chances are, you will find yourself in the middle of a political conversation with friends, family or acquaintances at some point before November 8.
At its best, political dialogue is eye-opening and informative. At its worst, it’s confrontational and contentious. If you’re talking politics with someone whose views differ from yours, keep the focus productive with these pointers:
DO come prepared. Read up on the candidates’ stances on key issues, and be ready to discuss why you do – or don’t – support particular candidates or issues. This will help you converse with confidence. It will also help you when you head to the polls.
DON’T dominate the conversation. Fight the urge to interrupt or to mentally craft witty responses when you could be paying attention. Instead, listen carefully to what the other person is saying and ask questions to learn more about why the person feels the way he or she does. Doing so doesn’t mean you have to compromise your beliefs – and you may learn something.
DO stay calm. Check judgmental comments at the door. As this Emily Post article states, remarks such as “I can’t believe you think that” are a quick way to take a conversation from nice to nasty. If you feel yourself getting worked up – especially if the other person isn’t showing you the same level of respect – take deep breaths and/or stop the conversation.
DON’T drag it out. If it’s clear the conversation is going downhill, change the subject or agree to disagree. If that doesn’t work, or you can’t seem to get a word in edgewise, end the conversation by checking your watch and saying you need to catch someone before they leave or you have an appointment to get to.
Casual conversations aside, election season also raises questions for churches about political activity. Determining what’s permitted and what’s prohibited can be challenging. With that in mind, GuideOne Insurance is hosting a free “Election Year Do’s and Don’ts for Churches” webinar on September 27, 2016 at 10 a.m. Central Time. Learn more about the webinar and sign up on this registration form.
SOURCE: Emily Post