It's not over – the political conversation. Oh the election is over – but the constant barrage of rhetoric and name calling and mud slinging is still going strong. Accordingly I have created a little tool bag with some ready responses for when things start heading in a bad direction.
1. When someone suggests there's something wrong with you for your position: "I certainly respect your allegiance to your party. I appreciate your respecting my allegiance to mine."
2. When someone says your facts are wrong: "I'm relying on "x" as my source, but perhaps it's wrong. I'll go back and investigate a little further. In the meantime, where does your information come from?"
3. When you are clear someone does not want to hear what you have to say, "I'm so grateful to live in a country where we can have opposing views and openly express them. If you are not interested in hearing mine, I certainly respect that."
My first choice is to avoid situations where conflict can arise by steering clear of politics whenever possible. I firmly believe that most people don't have these discussions to LEARN something about the other party or position, they have them to try and persuade the other person to stop their craziness, see the light and join them on the one true path. And I have never seen a single person surface from such a conversation remarking, "Oh my gosh! How could I have been such a fool! I no longer believe all those things I believed one hour ago! I'm healed!!!!"
But I do contend that if we choose to have discussions (and I sincerely hope we do), we make the choice to have them with respect and civility.
Linda Larsen, Motivational Speaker, NOT politician