Today’s Solutions: November 30, 2022

There’s a lot to be gained from friends with different opinions. That said, it can be difficult to maintain friendships with people who have strongly held opinions, politically speaking. This is why the editorial team at ThriveGlobal asked their readers for advice about maintaining such relationships. Here are the strategies they came up with: 

Find your mutual joy

Mutual respect comes when you understand that our opinions grow from our environment and experiences. Not everyone’s experiences match our own. If we remember that and ask them why they believe what they do, we set ourselves up for empathy and understanding. If that fails, agree to disagree and focus on areas of your lives that bring mutual joy.

Don’t take it personally

Too often, people interpret a different opinion as an attack, when it has nothing to do with who they are as a person. When you engage with someone passionate about an issue, listen to what they have to say and try to understand the belief from their perspective, not your own.

Respectfully challenge views

Sometimes it’s a good thing to challenge a perspective that can’t be backed up with facts, but make sure it’s the views that you challenge—and not the person.

Seek to understand, not to convince

The inability to remain friends with others of differing opinions is a dangerous trend affecting the United States right now. Having respectful and productive conversations about politics and other touchy subjects is the only way to foster democratic discourse, see blind spots, and move forward. Don’t approach conversations with the intent of convincing the other. Instead, simply try to learn and understand. There can be multiple truths in the room.

Avoid the “me versus them” mentality

Talking politics is usually a way to discuss the core values that define us. So, when others espouse a different set of values, we feel less secure and emotionally safe. In turn, we feel the need to defend our values, part of which becomes attacking those of the other person. 

Political conversations are ostensibly about what’s best for the country, its people, and our common welfare. If kept in that frame, we can all find policies that have both benefited and harmed us, regardless of where we fall on the political spectrum. Recognizing and fighting our tendency to fall into defense mode can help us have constructive conversations without jeopardizing relationships.

Solutions News Source Print this article
More of Today's Solutions

The many benefits of cultivating intergenerational friendships

Humans tend to gravitate towards or become friends with people our age due to our experiences in school and work. As we age together ...

Read More

These animals socially distance themselves too during times of illness

While it may feel unnatural for us to engage in social distancing, the sacrifices we've made have deep roots in the animal kingdom. From ...

Read More

California to produce its own generic drugs to take down big pharma

Whereas one vial of insulin costs about $30 in Canada, that same vial can go for as much as $450 in the US. This ...

Read More

Diagnosing hearing loss with a simple speech test

According to the World Health Organization, more than 1.5 billion people live with some degree of hearing loss. Currently, to test the severity of ...

Read More