Discussing Politics Religion
Discussing Politics or what Democracy, Communism or Socialism; or Judaism, Christianity or Muslim religions encompass, without leaving out most of it. The real understanding of these things is stuck out in the muck of a swamp, where most people don’t tread. Nowadays, we so over-identify with these things, that we can’t separate the words and ideas involved with them, from our personhood or being. If we are a Republican and Episcopalian and somebody criticizes the party or the religion, they are attacking our personhood, being malicious and trying to hurt us on purpose. This is the inherent problem of language. We originally invented words to represent real objects we wanted to show someone else. The trouble is that too much abstract space has come between the word and the object it is supposed to represent. Unfortunately, some simple words used to represent complex entities carry automatic negative connotations that can be very destructive to communication.
So what are the solutions in trying to have a healthy discussion about politics or religion? The first question you should be asking is why do you want to engage in a political or religious discussion, most definitely with another person of a different persuasion? You will never be successful in selling your belief or preference and it is futile to try. Probably the best that can happen from a healthy discussion on these explosive topics, is that you both find out how little you really do know on the topic and both learn more. Always play fair. Don’t give yourself explicit permission to impose your opinions—even if they are well-informed—onto others in being superior by proclamation and absent of judgment, without at least extending the equal opportunity to the other person. Sometimes life doesn’t seem very fair, but that doesn’t mean people can’t try to be that way with each other.
Avoid being judgmental. Separate the beliefs from the person. A person is more than just what they believe or know regarding politics and religion. And those different beliefs which you may not like have been shaped by the person’s different family, cultural and https://5d9bbc65cf9e0.site123.me/ educational backgrounds. Beliefs, and even knowledge of what you know to be true, is just different from the other person’s, not necessarily better as you may wrongly assume. Never deliver or take anything too personal because there are many more reasons to not do that than do it, and doing it can rarely have a successful conclusion. Beliefs are not realities and they don’t define a person. Besides, a person doesn’t fully understand the belief he or she is most certain is right, at least well enough to communicate it clearly, and certainly not worthy of losing a friend over. Realize that no one understands or endorses every tenant or even any general belief of any particular political party, religion or any other group.
Over-generalization is not good for communication, especially when it becomes an indictment against one group by a member of another. Be as specific as you can without generalizing. Rather than getting angry and frustrated in a pending argument and then becoming defensive in defending your own views, stop and ask good questions to understand why and how the other person is concluding something you don’t agree with. Statements generally impede two-way conversations, while questions facilitate it. Pause during the animated stage of discussion, and ask good questions to make the conversation more productive and less destructive. Finally, when a discussion becomes hostile to the point of no return with personal attacks becoming rampant, it is time to walk away. This can be temporary if it is just acute or permanent if it breeds chronic, toxic contempt. People are all different and some can be misaligned to the point of having to agree to disagree on just about everything. If that is not in the cards, then at this point it becomes a personal decision as to just how much effort you want to put into continuing the friendship. Getting into discussions about politics, religion or any other contentious topic, can sometimes be more trouble than it is worth, with no winners, just losers. But if you can’t avoid these discussions, consider playing by the above seven rules to get better outcomes and keep your friends or make one from any enemy. Author's Bio: William Cottringer, Ph.D. Executive Vice-President of Employee Relations for Puget Sound Security Patrol, Inc. in Bellevue, WA. And Adjunct Professor in criminal justice with Northwest University, along with being a Sport Psychologist, Business Success Coach, Photographer and Writer living in the mountains of North Bend.