GOLDEN VALLEY, Minn. - This presidential election year certainly has people talking. But making sure those conversation remain civil can be tricky. How do family, friends or coworkers discuss the issues without devolving into an all out argument?
Here's a take home list of tips to discussing politics from Psychology Today:
1. No sarcasm
It wins no arguments. You want to be Maddow or O’Reilly to your friends, so be it. “Psychologist John Gottman's marriage research has found that a sarcastic dismissive attitude toward partner's comments is the single best predictor of divorce,” said Susan Heitler, Denver psychologist and marriage counselor.
2. Actually listen
“People engage with you when they feel like they are respected and that you carte about them and you care about what they have to say , then they will open themselves up to your perspective and viewpoints,” said Surerus.
3. A fixed belief system
Heitler says it's neither fun nor helpful to talk politics with someone who is certain they have all the right answers. Open up the impenetrable walls; be willing to learn.
4. The shutdown
Often people will walk away in disgust or keep interrupting opposing views. Surerus says these are not effective tactics.
5. Check your emotions
“When you know that you are getting activated, when you sense that your blood pressure is rising because they are talking about something that really triggers you, and you are fully aware that you cannot have a calm conversation, that's when it's best to stay away,” said Surerus.