How To Talk Politics With Family
This is easily the most tumultuous election in our lifetimes and inevitably, tough discussions will end up happening with people you love. Here's how to deal.
One thing I've noticed is that most people tend to assume you think the same way they do. After all, they're right, right? In other words, people assume that their way of thinking is the only reasonable way of thinking and since you seem like a level headed person they get along with, it would only make sense that you agree with them, which isn't always the case.
One of the great things about this country is that we're allowed to think the way we want to, and vote the way we want to. But people you're close to will assume you think the same way they do. And it's not like how I hate ketchup and mustard and when I tell people that they go "whaaat?! that's nuts" and move on with their lives.
In this political climate, as it seems, you're either with them or against them and it can be particularly tough with family. Distant family, and in some cases, immediate family can end up with drastically different belief systems as you do and you have to recognize when it's necessary to go to battle with them over said beliefs.
Here's my advice on how to talk politics with family:
- Pick your priorities... Decide what subjects are most important to you. Maybe they're all important. If so, defend your pov to the death. But if it's something you know you're not going to change their opinion on and all it will do is cause an even bigger divide, nod and move on with your life.
- Talk sports... Well okay, this can be tricky in a year with very limited sports but sports teams are usually pretty safe subject matter.
- Realize that many people are committed to their beliefs and that it's not your job to change their minds. Think about all the ridiculous Facebook comment sections that are just fights that go nowhere and tend to end when the commenters get bored. Bottom line is that people are going to head to the polls to cast their vote in November and at this point very few are likely to change positions.
- Come up with a list of topics... I know this is ridiculous but as I previously stated, this year is going to be the most tumultuous election seasons in our history so it's definitely going to be top of mind, especially as we get closer to November 3rd.
- Take a break... Go outside and get some air. No point in letting someone stir you up to a point where you're angry or miserable.
Lastly, don't forget to vote on November 3rd. This is a big one and you'll remember it for the rest of your life. Don't be the person who didn't take part because "my vote doesn't matter". Research the issues, try to understand others' perspectives as best as you can and know why/who you're voting for.
That said, cheers, and may the odds be ever in you (and your candidate's) favor.