I need to address something that, frankly, goes against my normal MO.
I have officially blocked a certain user from my comments section. I will not be naming this creep on here, but I don’t doubt that many of you already know who I am referring to.
As you know, I am not shy about talking about “hot button” topics on this blog. I think open, respectful dialogue is important and I encourage it in the comments section. I don’t think there are enough opportunities to talk about hard things, hear from both sides, and engage in a healthy conversation, especially with people who hold different views. That is vital to an empathetic, compassionate, co-existing community.
However, there is a line.
And this person definitely crossed it: doxxing my parents, and using personal information as some sort of threat to scare me or intimidate me that they know who I am, or where I live, or as some sort “peeping Tom” B.S.
And that is a line too far.
I can take criticism over my views. I can take petty name calling. But when you threaten my family, your butt is outta here, faster than you can say “sayonara sir.”
So. That’s that. Thank you to those kind friends who stood up for me to this person, or called them out for being out of line. That did not go unnoticed, and I appreciate it.
So now onto tonight’s actual point.
How do we talk about hard things?
Living in September 2022, with all the garbage mainstream culture spews at us, how do we dialogue with people who hold different beliefs?
Because I’m going to be honest, living in NYC, the bluest of the blue cities in the country, I have had to learn and adapt in a New York minute.
And frankly, I don’t actively seek out conversations about politics or religion. And in fact, I steer clear.
But if I do find myself in a conversation, this is what I have learned:
- First and foremost, listen to understand.
So many times, when “debating” someone, for lack of a better term, I would never really listen, but rather spend the time that they’re speaking, thinking about what I was going to say next…which is incredibly counter-productive and is a one-way ticket to talking in circles at each other, instead of with each other. So listening to understand is key.
- Find common ground.
It’s easy to point out differences, and therefore deepen the divide between you. But if you try and find connection points, that is something you can build off of, and eventually settle on.
- Don’t try to change their mind.
Which, I know, is not what you want to hear. Especially in a debate, you want to win, or have a “see, I told you/I was right” kind of a moment. But in that, there really is no winner — it’s a lose/lose: people get their feelings hurt, they harbor animosity going forward, and frankly just feel bullied. Agreeing to disagree is the best outcome, always. Remaining respectful and calm. And the final point to this, is that you never know what will happen. Pride is a hard beast to compete with, and who knows: perhaps a little nugget of wisdom you shared will take root in that person’s heart and lead to a shift in perspective down the road. You just simply never know.
- Remember that the person is not the viewpoint.
This last one is so important. Just because a person holds a belief that you disagree with, does not make them “an enemy.” It doesn’t make them a bad person. You can love them, have them in your life, share joys, hang out, etc…despite them believing something different. Don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater, so to speak and write them off completely. Just maybe have a “don’t talk politics/religion/insert-subject-here” policy.
So there we go. Those are probably common sense, but I thought it tied in nicely with my recent blocking move.
I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!
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