Discussing Difficult Topics

Good morning everyone.

This morning I had a lively debate with a person on the opposite end of the spectrum politically and socially whom I respect. We do see eye to eye on a few things, but we disagree more than we agree. I found by the end that my stomach was in knots and I felt stressed. Why is that?

I wanted nothing more than when the conversation was over, for her to say, “you’re right and I appreciate you showing me the other side of the story.” These expectations were not realistic and set me up for failure. Of course the chances of this happening are slim when having a serious political debate about cutting subsidies for corporations over cutting social programs that help the needy. To me, I can’t understand how someone would rather see our tax dollars go to support companies who are raking in billions of quarterly profits while we cut nutrition programs for low-income women and infants and jobs for teachers and police officers. I hate spending my tax dollars on anything, especially to help corporations who are spending the billions they make to lobby against regulations the protecting us.

The conversation had to end before it was over, which was sad because now I feel like I have all this stuff I need to say and I have to wait till next we meet.

How do we discuss topics that are so charged and difficult to have without getting heated? How can we be respectful of one anothers’ point of view, yet still ensure our point comes through loud and clear? This is a really difficult thing to do and I assure you that after my last performance, I know I am no expert.

Hindsight being what it is, I think that it may be better to write down our points of view with all of our arguments for and against with footnotes when trying to have these talks so that we can read and ponder,  researching our rebuttal, before we have the discussion. The current state of this country makes it hard not to get emotional about these difficult topics but it is important that we have these discussions in a respectful manner.

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