Lately, there has been nothing but controversy going on all over the media about gun control. It has been talked about nonstop all over social media and I cannot express how important it is to be civil during a political debate. We all have our own opinions about this and before we lose our minds on trying to voice our thoughts, let's consider using these tips first!

1. Listen to all of the other person’s reasons before giving yours.

Whenever I get into a political pickle with someone, I make sure to have them explain their viewpoint first. I want to hear what they have to say first and foremost before I develop any personal issues against them just because they do not agree/disagree with the same thing as I do. Yes, it sounds extreme that I would judge someone right away just because they are not on my side, but let's face it. We all have done it at some point.

2. Take a deep breath.

If someone just is not understanding your justifications for an opinion, keep trying. Continue with your words and don’t give up. Stop, pause, and breathe. Getting mad over this is not worth it, but sharing your opinion and calmly listening to each other's is.

3. Don’t interrupt.

While someone is sharing a thought with you, you may think of a great comeback in that very moment. Save it and wait to blurt it out after they have finished speaking. I cannot tell you how rude, disrespectful, and unprofessional it is to interrupt someone. Their words matter too, believe it or not, just as much as yours.

4. Don’t get personal.

The other person you are debating with might sound so ridiculous to you that you start thinking of personal insults to spit out. This is called stooping down to a whole new level. Notice I said DOWN. Avoid this level at all costs because as soon as you’ve reached this, it is hard to get back up. This is not a road you want to be on.

5. Body language is important.

Make sure you are showing respectable body language while in a debate. It is more important than you think and can say a lot about a person’s debate skills. I make sure to keep my hands clasped together sitting on my lap rather than crossing my arms. The little things do and say a lot, I promise that focusing on this tactic is worth it!

Thank you for taking the time out of your day to read this article. Using these tips in a debate or even an everyday conversation will help you be a better communicator, listener, and participant. This will make all the difference in attempt to create world peace. You’ve got this, now go out there and make your voice matter!