Dear Annie: Use this trick to navigate political disagreements

Miss Manners answers a question about a friend who wants to talk but not listen

You don't always have to 'win.'

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Dear Annie: The way I have learned to respond to political discussions with people with whom I disagree is to adopt an attitude of curiosity. I genuinely ask why they think the way they do.

This leads to a less contentious discussion where they can share their ideas and I can learn both about the ideas and about them as a person, how they think, the values behind their position. If or when I think I have to “win” the argument or difference of opinion, I create tension both for them and myself and miss the opportunity for a genuine, informative and often enjoyable discussion of ideas in which we both have interest. -- Staying Curious

Dear Staying Curious: I like your approach. The only time that it might not work is if someone attacks your core values. But it certainly is refreshing to hear about your open-minded approach to other people viewpoints.

Annie  Lane

Stories by Annie Lane

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