Engage and Explore Alternative Points of View Peacefully

Talking Politics and Religion Doesn’t Have To Be Adversarial.

Ridge
Blue Insights
Published in
2 min readJun 12, 2024

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Photo by Kate Bezzubets on Unsplash

How does one react with tact and respect instead of disdain, dismissal, and contempt when someone of polar opposite viewpoints disagrees with you on hot-button topics?

  • First, you need to be in the moment and actually give a shit because you can’t fake it. The unconscious eye rolls, head droops, smirks, and pursed lips will give you away which means you’ve now got two strikes against you. On top of having opposing views which makes you either an idiot or a heathen depending which side you’re on, you’re an uncaring asshole too.
  • Second, preface a charged discussion by stating the obvious upfront, a kind of disclaimer, something like, “Our individual life influences made us who we are and shaped how we see things. Engaging and exploring alternative points of view allows us to grow. We should always be open to new stuff”. Maybe not so dramatic, but you get it. Who can argue with that logic? And, it loosens everyone up.

So, in the past when you found yourself in a charged, possibly contentious discussion, did you immediately and disdainfully dismiss statements that didn’t fit neatly into your mindset? Did you even ask yourself if what you just heard was worth consideration before refuting or rebutting it?

  • Instead of launching right into a counter-offensive, give what they said a little real-time consideration before deciding it’s garbage. That tiny hesitation and appearance of thoughtfulness signals they aren’t being dismissed out of hand as imbeciles or simpletons with idiotic ideas.
  • Don’t make statements that assume the person you’re talking to should share your view, like “Just look at what he’s done for the country.” That is probably as negative to the other person as it is positive to you.
  • Realize that you don’t need to agree or even necessarily find common ground.
  • Accepting the other person’s viewpoint doesn’t imply you share it. Be generous, let them have it.
  • The goal is to coexist, survive the encounter, and come away with a mutual respect.

In the final analysis, we will all vote our conscience and abide the majority until it’s the other party’s turn at the wheel, and anyone who can’t do that should be quashed like the cock roach he is. Gotcha!
Well, that happened, it rolled off my keyboard before I could stop myself. I left it there just to get a smile from my proof reader. But she suggested I leave it in.

© 2024 Ridge Magee
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Ridge
Blue Insights

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