How to talk politics at home and open up a genuine conversation

Kayleigh Fraser's tips for how to bring on-campus discussion home without starting a fight

Kayleigh Fraser
9th December 2020
Image: Pikist
We’ve all had those awkward political disagreements. Whether it’s sitting round the dinner table or provoked by the television, arguments and differing points of view are inevitable. But how can we open up the dialogue and start those difficult conversations?

With all that 2020 has thrown at us, it’s certainly been inevitable to get involved in some political discourse. Events in May began huge discussions over Black Lives Matter, police brutality and racism within the judiciary. 

Memorial for George Floyd
Image: HuffPost on YouTube

November of course saw the US election, a worldwide focus packed full with peaks and valleys. This has made politics an unavoidable talking point, and a difficult one to settle. Here’s some tips on talking politics at home:

  1. Keep it quiet

The worst way to accelerate a friendly discussion is to raise your voice and turn it into an argument. The moment you start shouting, nobody will be listening to any points you make. All they will see is anger and frustration, and nothing productive will take place. 

  1. Try to listen 

This is probably the hardest part, especially if they are on the opposite side to you. Remember to stay calm, and to ask them questions about why they feel that way. As much as this may be difficult, you may get a deeper understanding of their worldview. 

Donald Trump and Joe Biden
Image: AP Photo and Patrick Semansky via NDLA
  1. Don’t insult them 

As easy as it is to slip in some insults if you’re disagreeing, this is probably the worst thing you can do. Insulting them will only close off the topic for any further discussion, and only make everyone avoid the topic thereafter. 

  1. Know your facts 

If you truly want to win the debate and change minds, make sure you have some facts handy. One thing I always like to do is memorise stats and figures to back up my points. It’s difficult for anyone to disagree with facts. 

So there you have it: the best tips I have for talking politics at home. Remember, if you’re going to talk politics at the Christmas table, don’t take it too far. It may be far too easy, but it's definitely not worth it in the end. 

Featured Image: Pikist

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AUTHOR: Kayleigh Fraser
Campus Comment Sub Editor for 2021/22 and Head of News at NSR. English Literature Student heavily obsessed with politics, bath and body works and making positive change. Also slightly infatuated with iced coffee, guinea pigs, my dog and binging The Simpsons.

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