Unfriended on Facebook by school friend? Don't let politics ruin a friendship
Is it possible to have a debate on politics and still keep your friends? Yes, if you continue to have these pointers in mind.
When we feel passionate about a topic, our immediate reaction is to talk about it enthusiastically, no holds barred. But you have to keep in mind that your views are exactly that — yours. Others may not agree with you. And so, you need to tone it down to avoid bruised egos and damaged connections — especially when it comes to talking about politics. Here are some tips to keep in mind so that you can debate thoughtfully and still be invited to the next dinner party.
Get the facts
Keep in mind that while you may have a lot of information on the topic, you don’t have all the information. Keep an open mind. If your friend is being vocal about something you don’t agree with, react non-aggressively by asking why they feel that way or what facts they have to back their opinion.
It will encourage them to explain their point of view and you will get a better understanding of where they are coming from, which can actually help your discussion.
I hear you
You should always make it clear to your friend that while you may not agree with their thoughts, you respect and acknowledge them. When opinions differ, it doesn’t mean that you need to stoop to rude behaviour — behaving badly never helped an argument. While they are talking, don’t roll your eyes, shake your head or interrupt them. Let them say what they have to and then start by saying that while you respect their point of view, you disagree.
Take it offline
The Internet is a place for many things — staying in touch with friends and information galore. But, this public platform is not the place for heated political debates or controversial posts.
The Internet cannot let you convey tone (no, smileys don’t cut it either) and so, simple statements could get taken out of context. By posting on social platforms, you are just inviting others to join in the debate. Keep your political opinions offline, especially if they are fierce, and if someone else’s bothers you, remember there is always the block option.
It’s not personal
Just because someone seems to be attacking your political views, doesn’t mean that they are attacking you personally. Everyone is entitled to think what they want, so don’t let it cloud your whole judgement on them. It is just one aspect of their personality. The best thing is to make it clear that you will agree to disagree but still stay friends.