In the aftermath of the 2016 election, 16% of Americans stopped talking to a relative or close friend due to politics. More recently, the Pew Research Center found that approximately half of Americans say they’ve stopped talking about politics with someone. With the 2020 election right around the corner, some of our most important relationships may be tested.
Conversations about sensitive political topics are now happening in all domains of life – in the workplace, in classrooms, on social media, and in private conversations with friends and family. These conversations are likely to happen whether you want them to or not. The problem is, many of us aren’t prepared.
Navigating difficult conversations constructively is not intuitive. Our brains are predisposed to assume that we’re right, defend our existing beliefs, and interpret information in a way that that confirms what we want to believe. To make matters worse, our conversation partners are often doing the same.
As a result, our disagreements often feel like we’re locked in a zero-sum battle. We tend to focus on proving why we’re right and the other person is wrong. This tactic is a surefire way to increase our blood pressure and deepen our divisions.
But it doesn’t have to be this way. It is possible for us to get along with people despite our differences. These disagreements can be even constructive rather than destructive.
There are science-backed strategies to communicate more constructively across differences. OpenMind has distilled these insights into a quick interactive guide. In 10-minutes, you’ll learn and practice 3 steps for handling sensitive conversations when they arise.
To learn more and begin practicing these skills, click below!