Politics in Social Life and Dating Life….can you survive the next 6 months?

by | May 10, 2024

While it seems many people have grown familiar with social cues, there seems to be a severe lack of empathy and mutual respect in conversations about politics. It’s one of the few things people tend to avoid in conversation. I always strongly recommend deflect, deflect, deflect if politics do come up. Unless you’re very familiar with the other person’s political opinions, it’s very difficult to work around the conversation without tensions rising, especially in a romantic relationship. There is little upside in talking politics and LOT of downside. Focus on the things you have in common and not on the potential divisiveness.

If you absolutely cannot avoid it, here are some tips:

  1. Actively listen – don’t just wait for your chance to talk and tell people their point of view is wrong. A conversation is based on listening and speaking, the other party did not sign up for a lecture.
  2. Talk to them with mutual respect – whether you know this person or not, they are still a human with emotions. They are more than this conversation, the same way you are. If you disagree, it’s still important to be respectful. (Treat others the way you wish to be treated!)
  3. Stay calm – There’s a lot of tension in conversations about politics. It’s important to keep your cool in order to keep the conversation cool!
  4. Know when to leave – If things are getting too heated, it’s okay to remove yourself from the situation or veer the conversation in a different direction.
  5. Create a judgment free zone – this can be especially difficult when speaking on politics. People are more receptive to sharing their opinions when they feel comfortable. 
  6. Find common ground – A lot of political talk is based on defensiveness and negativity. Shifting the attention to shared values can help you come together and bridge differences.
  7. Know your audience – if there’s a history of tension or heated arguments with the person you are having a conversation with, it may be in your best interest to avoid the talk of politics. As we all know, it’s easy to get heated in the moment.
  8. There’s a time and place – often times the setting your in is not appropriate for a political conversation. If there’s concern for confrontation, you may not be in the right place to be speaking on this. Remember your social cues!

This is no promise to a calm and collected political conversation, these are merely just tips on how you can improve on these discussions. Ultimately, there are at least two parties involved in every conversation, so if the other party isn’t willing to take the same precautions at least you can say you’ve done your part and walk away.

Photo by  PxHere