The rule of not discussing politics at work or in polite company is hard to follow during election time. Conversations about politics are inevitable, but arguments aren’t. To ensure you still have friends on October 22nd, follow these tips:
Speak about observations rather than opinions. By following the news, you will have plenty of election-related stories or articles you can discuss with others without having to take a side.
Listen more than you speak. Express genuine interest in what others are saying and ask follow-up questions to keep the conversation going.
Polarizing memes or commentary can be misinterpreted and poorly received. If you aren’t the most diplomatic when expressing your opinions online, consider sharing content somebody else has written, such as news articles.
Avoid blocking or muting people online simply for having a different opinion. You may end up in an echo chamber that will make you a less understanding person.
In the coming weeks, campaign volunteers will be contacting you by phone or in person. If someone knocks on your door, they are not there to persuade or argue with you. They are simply there to find out whether you will be supporting their candidate. If so, on election day, they will remind you to vote and give you a ride to the polls if needed. These people are devoting their free time to community service and deserve respect.
When talking to someone who is a little too passionate, downright nasty, or maybe just boring, change the subject. A host at a party should also step in and change the subject if they see one of their guests in an uncomfortable conversation.
60% of Canadian voters vote the same way every time. Rather than trying to convert others, use political conversations as a chance to learn about other points of view. Political tides may turn, but civility always wins.