Tough Stuff

How to talk about political issues with a friend who doesn’t understand

With everything going on in today's society, it's hard *not* to talk passionately about political and social issues to family, friends and even neighbors. Politics might be the only thing you talk about at your lunch table—which isn't necessarily a bad thing...but you’re starting to notice that your friends have no interest in important issues.

It can be frustrating to talk to a friend who either chooses to ignore political issues or simply has no clue what you’re talking about. Here are a couple of steps to help you maintain a healthy and constructive conversation about political issues with a friend who just doesn’t seem to understand.

Hear them out

Even if their reasoning for staying away from politics sounds absurd, it can help you understand why they feel or think the way they do. Hearing them out will also establish respect before you start a serious conversation. It might help your friend feel like someone is *actually* listening to them instead of immediately judging them.

Don’t take the discussion personally

If the conversation starts to get heated, try to avoid insulting your friend. In the heat of the moment, you may want to say hurtful things, but in the long run, it won't persuade your friend to change their mind on an issue. Take a step back, breathe and refocus on what you’re trying to say.

Stop once the conversation has reached its limit

This might be hard if you’re trying to convince your friend to support an issue you care about, but realistically, people can get overwhelmed by new information and things that challenge their mindsets. If you sense that your friend is getting uncomfortable with the conversation, don’t hesitate to stop it before you lose them completely.

Agree to disagree

You and your friend are not going to agree with everything in one sitting. They may still try to hold on to their values and beliefs, so there’s no point trying to “win” the discussion. Instead, try to meet at a middle ground. At the end of the day, your personal relationship is more important to keep.

Are you trying to talk to a friend who doesn't understand politics? Let us know on Twitter @girlslifemag.

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Top image by Edvin Johansson on Unsplash


by Chaela Williams | 2/16/2021