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Taking Political Discussions Seriously

Politics seems to be the hot topic of discussion these days, and many innocent conversations turn into screaming matches with neither party being able to get a word in edgewise.

It is well known that the country is divided on many political topics, and people seem to feel stronger about certain issues than ever before. Many people engage in political discussions for the express purpose of changing another person’s mind, but often tempers flare and no one leaves the conversation having learned anything. There is a difference in taking a political discussion seriously and simply having a heated argument with someone.

The general definition of the word discussion is to exchange ideas. Quite often so-called political discussions couldn’t be further from this definition. When people feel very strongly about a subject they often refuse to see another

person’s point of view, let alone listen to them. If you feel that someone you know could learn something from you about politics keep in mind you could probably learn something from them as well.

To take a political discussion seriously you must be willing to listen, not only speak. Understand that part of what makes up a person’s feelings and opinions is their experiences. Since you certainly haven’t had the same experiences as someone else you can’t expect to see eye to eye on everything. Discussions require each party to allow the other to speak in turn and have a chance to say their piece.

When engaging in a political discussion with someone who holds differing opinions, be prepared to learn if you expect them to. No one likes to be told they are wrong, and if you really want someone to see where you’re coming from you need to pay them the same respect. Name calling and general rudeness will get you nowhere, and your civil political discussion will soon turn into an argument.

Always keep your cool during a discussion. If you aren’t willing to listen to the other person, then perhaps you shouldn’t bother trying to engage them. Starting discussions simply to rile the other party or insult them is both juvenile and lacks any constructive purpose. The other party probably feels as strongly about certain issues as you do, so don’t expect them to concede to your points right away. A good political discussion may have no outcome other than

an opportunity to understand someone else’s view points and why they hold them.

It is important to engage in civil political discussions, even if you feel you’re not getting anywhere in terms of changing someone else’s mind. We all live in this country together, and no matter what party is currently in power and it is important to be sympathetic to all our fellow country people.