Tips to Engage in Political Conversations Without Losing Your Cool

Election season is fast approaching and politics are filling our news and social media feeds. Undoubtedly, you’ll encounter discussions with people whose political beliefs differ from your own. While those conversations can be trying at times, the objective is to prevent them from turning into arguments. Here are three tips to help you engage in political conversations without losing your cool. 

  1. Don’t Make “A Changed Mind” Your End Goal

When you have a different point of view than someone else, it can be tempting to try to convince them to see things your way. However, for most of us, our beliefs are deeply ingrained, long-standing, and stem back to our upbringing. In many cases, people’s political leanings are formed around their own life experiences and morals. So, despite a person’s willingness to listen to opposing viewpoints, it’s unfair to expect them to suddenly abandon their deeply rooted beliefs in an effort to find a mutual understanding. You may have to agree to disagree, and that’s okay.   

  1. Be Respectful

Political conversations sometimes touch on controversial topics, sensitive matters, religious beliefs and personal moral compasses. Because broaching such delicate subjects can lead to hurt feelings, judgment and contention, these conversations are prone to heighten emotional responses. Avoid interrupting, raising your voice or being insulting. Instead, remember to remain respectful. If the conversation becomes tense, kindly let the other party know you need a breather. Take some time to attend to your feelings and return only when you’re completely calm.

  1. Know When to Walk Away

Unfortunately, not everyone will handle political conversations maturely. Some people are worthy of your time, attention and thoughts, while others are not. If the discussion is taking a turn for the worst, disengage. There are several ways to escape a wayward conversation. Try one of the following:

  • Diffuse the situation by refusing to offer counterpoints
  • Gradually change the subject to something more pleasant
  • Be honest and say you are no longer interested in continuing the conversation

It’s important to note: if you find political conversations to be divisive, you don’t have to participate in them. Politics are complex and can be triggering or anxiety-inducing for many. So, don’t feel pressured into offering input or listening to anyone else share their own. But, if you do plan to join in, keep these three tips handy.

Jim and Bobbie PuryearTips to Engage in Political Conversations Without Losing Your Cool


Join the conversation
  • Tolar Bryan - March 1, 2020 reply

    Jim — I like your web site. Some good things mentioned. What prompted you to do this?

    I am in Rob Veltkamp’s downline, but not actively building the business anymore. I also live in Liberty Lake, but unlike you, I live in District 9 , not 4, and probably more involved in politics than I ever thought I would be. I think your advice on being informed about your elected officials is right on! We just had the GOP caucuses yesterday, and I don’t know if you or Bobbie attended your caucus, it’s really sad how many people didn’t know about them, much less who their elected officials are. It’s also sad how so much of what people read in the paper or hear in the media, is just so much garbage and misleading. It’s takes a lot of purposeful work to weed out the trash and determine the truth in today’s culture. Thank the Lord that we have a Savior and he is in control. We know where we are going and who wins in the end!!

  • Barbara Butterfield - March 10, 2020 reply

    Amen, Tolar. Thanks for your comment.

  • Barbara Butterfield - March 10, 2020 reply

    Amen, Tolar.

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