How To Get Through the Next Few Months of Talking to Family and Friends Who Voted Differently Than You

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Last week, Americans saw one of the disputed presidential election and revealing the history of most of the US, and political outcomes aside, highlighted a huge need for a change of moral mentality. As Eddie S. Glaude Jr., Director of the Department of African American Studies at Princeton University, put it in an election-focused interview with MSNBC, “[Americans] are not unique in our evils… Where we can be unique is our refusal to recognize them … We hide and cover and hide so we can maintain the kind of willful ignorance that protects our innocence. ”

In the aftermath of the election, every American has not only an opportunity but an obligation to develop this story of “deliberate ignorance” to an end. To do that, we will all need to stop a seat at the table and get used to having awkward conversations with family and friends who voted differently than we do. Whether through zoom, on the table for Thanksgiving, or within the walls of your own home, we all have the opportunity to say what we think and talk about politics with family and friends in a way that could make a difference in 2024 (and all elections after that).

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Below, Melissa DePino, co-founder of From Privilege to Progress, and Arianna Galligher, LISW-S, a supervisor and counselor independent licensed social workers, break down how to discuss politics with family and friends who voted for differently than it did in the 2020 election because no honor or progress to come to stay politely quiet.

Before the conversation

The first step is being able to accept that the people you love and care about a way to vote is not fundamentally agree with. “We must be able to accept [your vote], even if we are a little surprised to know that someone who really care about supporting another candidate,” says Galligher. “Otherwise, you’ll get caught in this morass of trying to convince the other person does not have, [but] that’s done.”

Then consider why cast your vote for your chosen candidate and plan how you want to talk about it with someone else. “If you’re going to have a conversation with family or loved ones that involve politics, stay focused on why he chose the candidate rather than beating the other guy,” says Galligher. For example, perhaps you share with whom you voted for Joe Biden, because of its climate plan and its promise to protect the right to abortion. In this way, you are focusing their values ​​and morals in the heart of the conversation rather than opt for a narrow argument about the character of the candidates (though of course it also matters).

Your task before the last bit of conversation is to decide if someone is open to hearing his views. For a long introspection of that line, you will be able to approach the conversation with a clear intention and purpose. A closed door is a closed door, and Galligher says you should look for those who are a little open. “Be prepared to set some boundaries and limits, especially if you know that person is going to start hitting the candidate chosen. Be prepared to say, ‘You know, I have a different perspective on this. It is likely that we will not agree on this point. Let’s not go there ‘, “says Galligher. This is not derogatory, says Depino, but rather an act of self-preservation that allows you to save your energy for people who are willing to, like Brene Brown, puts it, “step in the arena with you.”

During the conversation

politically charged talks may seem to appear out of nowhere, and can be especially true this year. Depino says that prioritize remember that when someone comments are racist, homophobic, sexist, and xenophobic, which acts as a means of learning how to interrupt ally. You can use phrases like, “That’s not okay with me,” “I’m not comfortable with that,” or “That’s not funny.” Then, decide whether the person is open to having a discussion about why that’s not okay.

“There are lots of people who may have these conversations with those who really son’en the arena’con you and that are open to you. You have to decide if that family member in front of you is really open to conversation or not, “says Depino. If you are not sure, Galligher says you can ask questions specific like, “Are you open to having a discussion about why that’s not okay with me” or “I disagree with you on this. We can talk it out? ”

“When someone tries to bring up politics in relation to race and gender and any issues of equality, what I say is, ‘Those are not political issues. Those are human rights issues.’” —Melissa DePino, co-founder of From Privilege to Progress

Once your family member has agreed to have the conversation with you, Depino recommends actively define any comments about race or gender around. “When someone tries to mention the policy regarding race and gender and any issues of equality, what I say is:.. ‘Those are not political issues Those are human rights problems These are issues people can live their lives and be able to also live in a country that began with the ideal that all are created equal. An ideal that we have been at the same time, “she says.

Although these rights have been politicized by both political parties, you get more traction with your loved one to remind you that the thought that these rights supersede any names on the ballot. “Their candidate is racist” may be a true statement, but do not lead anywhere.

After the conversation

Galligher says to remember that you are not tied to any conversation (or any relationship for that matter) that seems to have run its course or become ugly. To end it, “just say, ‘I feel a bit overwhelmed by this conversation,’ o’Me’m getting a little too annoying. I was really hoping to be able to spend this time enjoying the company of the other, so I think it’s time to change the subject, ‘ “she says. Alternatively, if the conversation goes well, you can request permission to send your friend or family any articles, books, or podcasts you found useful in learning about the subject matter. If given the go-ahead, write that email. If you send a barrage of information along without their consent, they may feel attacked and less open to continue their conversation in the future.

Finally, note that discuss politics with family and friends does not end when a single conversation goes to stop. As founder antiracist daily Nicole Cardoza wrote in an Instagram post the day after Election Day, “Have conversations with your family and friends about who voted and why. Do not let your actions are disabled. It is a privilege to avoid that conflict. And if that person is you, sit down with your complicity in the terror inflicting this nation, and why is less urgent than what you choose first … “

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