I’ve got 2 fiends, each of which are on opposite sides of the political aisle, and each one has a lot to passionately say about the position. Fortunately for me, these 2 friends don’t know each other, so I won’t be finding myself in the middle of an ugly shouting match between them.
While I have my own opinions, when talking with either of these 2 friends, I find I learn more about them and their beliefs by asking questions related to why they believe what they do, and then listening to their responses. By doing so, I can quickly determine what’s important to them, what they value, and whether or not they are doing anything constructive with their opinions or merely parroting someone else’s talking points.
I’ve always been curious as to why people think and believe they way they do. While discussing heated topics, I’ve also found that when I ask the other person questions about their beliefs, they are usually more ager to at least hear an opposing or challenging belief from me.
I’m not naïve enough to think that I’ll be able to convince someone against their will. However, I do think questioning, listening to understand, and sharing thoughts is a more favorable approach to challenging conversations than the screaming and yelling that seems so pervasive in conversations today.