6 Tips for Maintaining Friendships Across the Aisle

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Friday, April 10, 2020


 

  • Don’t talk about politics 

 

The easiest way to avoid unnecessary strain on your relationship is to avoid discussing politics entirely. Politics will always be a contentious subject. Some people are capable of discussing political issues civilly without allowing their emotions to get the best of them, but for the sake of preserving friendships it may be easier to avoid it altogether. 

 

 

  • Find an outlet for your political rants 

 

If you’re like me, you need to talk/vent about politics every now and then. You should be wary of using your friends across the aisle as your outlet. When we vent, we say things we don’t mean and use less precise language. It is easy for misunderstandings to occur during an emotion-filled rant.  

 

 

  • Validate their feelings 

 

If you happen to offend or upset a friend with your opinions on politics, you should make it a habit to acknowledge their feelings. It may confuse you and seem silly, but this person is your friend and you likely care how they feel. Explain yourself, but recognize their feelings and their right to feel that way. This small act can do wonders for reaching common ground. 

 

 

  • Explain positions precisely 

 

It’s important to be extremely precise and thorough in describing your political opinions to friends who disagree. Explain your position and then some. Allow them to understand your thought process and rationale. Avoid inflammatory language. Use the terms that they use. This will allow them to understand and accept your positions, despite not holding them themselves. 

 

 

  • If you do discuss politics, be nice! 

 

This should go without saying, but you should always be kind to your friends. If you do feel comfortable talking politics with them, make sure you’re kind in your conversations and debates. It can be easy to get heated and want to debate. Remember that your conversations with your friends are not debates and you don’t have to convince them of anything for your conversation to be successful. 

 

 

  • Focus on what you have in common

 

How did you become friends? Focus on your mutual love for sports, cooking or reality television. There is more to life than politics. Having friends who you don’t discuss politics with is extremely healthy as it facilitates the development of other hobbies and interests. Spend time discussing the things you like and agree on.

Julia is a senior at The University of South Carolina studying political science and journalism. In addition to writing for Lone Conservative, she is also a student reporter for The College Fix.

The views expressed in this article are the opinion of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Lone Conservative staff.


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About Julia Johnson

Julia is a senior at The University of South Carolina studying political science and journalism. In addition to writing for Lone Conservative, she is also a student reporter for The College Fix.

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