Election Talk: How to disagree civilly about politics

Talking civilly about the election

(NEWS CENTER) -- Many people are anxious to see who our next president will be yet many are tired of what has seemed like a very long and contentious election season. 

 Dr. Anne Hallward is a psychiatrist in Portland who was formerly on the faculty at Harvard Medical School and she is the founder and host of Safe Space Radio on WMPG. 
 
She is giving pointers on how to talk to people about the election across partisan lines. 
 
1. Choose who you talk to about the election carefully.  The subject is painfully divisive and you don't actually have to share your voting preferences with anyone.  It is ok to say, I'd prefer not to talk about that with you, or, I care so much about you, I'd rather not get into this, because I fear it will be upsetting to both of us.  There's so much that we do share, I'd rather build on that.

2. Only enter into a conversation about the election if you feel able to access two qualities in yourself:  A. open-hearted curiosity and  B. an ability to hold onto your sense of the other person's goodness.

3.  I suggest it is easiest to think of the people in your life in terms of three groups. 

The people closest to you, family and closest friends. Don't go there unless your heart is very, very open.

The people you care about but aren't super close with, I suggest people only consider talking to people in this group.  If it goes well, consider trying the other two groups.

The people you don't know, or just barely; Hallward says this group can get very ugly here, fast, because politics feels more important to people than the the new relationship.

 

 

Copyright 2016 WCSH


JOIN THE CONVERSATION

To find out more about Facebook commenting please read the
Conversation Guidelines and FAQs

Leave a Comment