SALT LAKE CITY, Utah — With political tension still in the air and the holidays fast approaching, many people are looking for guidance when it comes to inevitably having to discuss politics and current events with their family, friends, and neighbors. Luckily, the University of Utah’s Peace & Conflict Club has some tips that can help promote civility over the next handful of weeks.
Determine your “non-starters”
As everyone knows, the holiday season can be stressful by itself. Now throw in a pandemic and a presidential election that may have some of your family or friends split, and you’ve got a recipe for a Thanksgiving or Christmas that feels like anything but a vacation.
We asked the Peace & Conflict Club at the U the following:
What would be some tips for having civil conversations with friends & family who may not agree politically?
Their answer ⬇️
Not to worry though, Cindy Keele, with the University of Utah’s Peace and Conflict Club has a couple of easy rules to follow. First, take a moment to self-reflect and determine what your non-starters are; meaning the things you know you won’t be able to discuss with other people.
“If you feel like you can’t have a calm and decent conversation with someone, then yeah, maybe avoid it,” she said.
Bring down the volume to restore peace
She says you need to remember that no one wins in these arguments. You aren’t trying to change someone’s mind, this isn’t debate club, (there’s no judge handing out points as the pie is served) so maybe change your mindset.
“Going into conversations not to debate, but to understand,” Keele said.
If things do get heated though, remember that most people are reactionary by nature.
“People aren’t going to keep yelling if you’re talking at a normal voice, they’ll match your tone,” she said.
And as a last resort, if you can’t settle things down, just remove yourself from the situation. You’d rather be remembered as the person who stepped outside for 5 minutes instead of saying something you would regret.
Peace and conflict: Talking politics and navigating tension over the holidays
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