How to Have a Political Discussion

After seeing a movie with a dear friend the discussion accidentally went into politics. I didn’t know that we were on opposite sides of this political divide. The volume exponentially rose and we found ourselves yelling at each other before we got a handle on our emotions and vowed to leave the topic out of the realm of discourse. We reiterated how our friendship was too important to let differences of opinion split us apart.

Has that happened to you? Well, I have a remedy. Since a political discussion is not really a discussion but an expression of each person’s views without concern for the other’s, let’s not pretend to care about what the other one thinks. Rarely do we want to learn something new and change our minds after listening to someone else. What we really want to do is to speak about what we believe. How about if you set the timer on your phone and each person gets to speak uninterrupted for two minutes? When the timer goes off, the other person gets to speak for two minutes. You can keep going or reformat the next session according to what you both need. Or, you can thank each other for the opportunity to speak and listen and leave the subject entirely.  It won’t create new realizations, just a forum of respect between friends.

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