Tips For Talking About Hot Button Issues

3 Tips For Talking About Hot Button Issues With Someone You Don’t Agree With

In today’s world, it’s nearly impossible to find someone who agrees with your opinion on every important topic. So when something polarizing comes up, like conversations about guns or borders or bodies, it’s important that we can find a way to have these tough conversations without leaving with a lot of tough feelings, too. Only by having these types of interactions can we come to understand and respect one another, despite the actual issues we’re talking about.To help you have more of these types of respectful interactions, here are three tips for talking about hot button issues with someone you don’t agree with. 

1.Try To Find Some Common Ground

With many issues, there is a place of common ground that people can eventually get to. Usually, the best way to do this is to get down to the root or reasoning of why you feel the way you do about an issue and why someone else feels the opposite. Many times, your desires will be very similar. For example, while you might think that people should be allowed to have whatever guns they want and to support those who produce these products, someone you’re speaking with might be on the other side of the aisle. However, the reasoning you both might have your particular opinion could be out of a desire to feel safe. So while you might not agree on the best way to feel safe, having a desire to feel safe is something you can agree on. And this, according to Sarah DiGiulio, a contributor to NBC News, is what you should be looking for in these types of conversations. 

2.Don’t Allow The Conversation To Get Loud

When you feel passionate about something, it’s only natural that you want to defend that thing. However, Marlo Thomas, a contributor to, shares that when many people start feeling defensive, they also tend to get loud in their voices. And when this happens, it’s easy for tempers to rise, too.To keep this from happening when you’re speaking with someone, try not to allow the conversation to get loud. If you start to feel yourself getting heated, remove yourself from the situation. And if the person you’re talking to starts to get loud, try to remain even in your tone to help calm things down. 

3.Seek For Understanding, Not Persuasion

People usually won’t change their opinion after having just one conversation with someone who thinks differently than them. Knowing this, Kathy Gurchiek, a contributor to, shares that when you’re talking to someone with a different opinion than you, don’t seek to persuade them to think as you do. Rather, seek to understand them and to have them understand you. This will help you both to leave this interaction feeling respected and respectful. If you frequently find yourself getting into arguments rather than discussions when talking about hot button issues, consider using the tips mentioned above to learn how to more effectively communicate in these situations.

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