After this year's election, tensions are running high, especially at the dinner table. Growing up in a Rush Limbaugh listening-trump supporting-overtly ignorant household, I completely understand wanting to throw mashed potatoes in your grandfather's face for repeatedly calling you a commie-lovin'-socialist-reefer smoking- hippie. However, fiercely flung potatoes are not the way to inform those around you. Below is a list of how to listen, inspire, and create change!
1. Do not instigate
Instigating does nothing but create tension. Keep your intentions honest and kind.
2. Listen to their points to truly understand the fear they feel
The majority of people voting for Trump did not do so out of spite of the other, but rather due to fear for the future. Listen to the reasoning behind why various policies are important to them. Recently in my Israel/Palestine course, I was able to speak to various Trump supporters and was able to truly understand their self-interest, as well as even find out we agreed on far more topics than I would have ever thought! Do not make the conversation as you vs. them, but rather you are speaking as one.
3. Do not belittle or condemn their ignorance. Were you, yourself not ignorant prior to acquiring knowledge?
Human knowledge is severely limited, even with all of our technological advances, we truly lack in knowledge.
4. Share your honest feelings
Do not hold back your own fear, confusion, or any other emotions. Express openly and kindly, how you feel. Being genuine with your feelings allow the listener to truly understand why you feel the way you do; this will break the barrier between both interests.
5. Do not retaliate if your feelings are belittled, this will do little to create change
You may be trying to hold it together while the other makes unappreciated remarks, regardless, do not let this destroy your mindfulness. Remember what is not only important, but productive.
6. When speaking against racism, sexism, or inaccuracy use valid sources and authentic information
Check your sources, credibility, and supply factual information as combats. Facts are Facts.
7. Ask them questions
Stay involved within the conversation by asking questions about anything you may be unsure of. Do not feel embarrassed to question or challenge someone for their stances.
8. Love them
9. Converse about how you both together can make a difference
Drop who's policy you wish to discuss and instead focus on how both of you can impact the world around you. Clearly, there are various issues within our world that you both recognize, take a step back to asses what you both as individuals can do to implement the changes you want seen within the world.
10. Smile, shake hands, or hug at the end of the conversation
Despite either of your beliefs, show good sportsmanship and remind them that you are still supportive them; your political beliefs should not divide you, but unite you.