By Anne-Marie Botek, AgingCare.com Editor
Politics is one of the untouchable topics that many people are taught to steer clear of in day-to-day conversations.
Indeed, the discomfort of opening Pandora’s little box of politics is so great that 83 percent of people avoid talking about political issues, according to Kerry Patterson, interpersonal communication expert and co-author of, “Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When Stakes Are High.”
Patterson says few feel they can control their temper when discussing politics, and most have bad experiences when they share their opinions on the government.
It’s not surprising that most people chose to remain mum on the subject.
“Politics and religion are two things that are based on preferences—on a person’s sense of right and wrong. That’s why these discussions become so problematic—we’re having them in the clouds,” says Laurie Puhn, J.D., relationship expert and author of, “Fight Less, Love More: 5-Minute Conversations to Change Your Relationship Without Blowing Up or Giving In.”
Keeping conversations civil
Every four years, our country becomes embroiled in a multitude of back and forth political debates that inflame the hearts and minds of Americans everywhere.
The deep philosophical divides that exist between Republicans and Democrats have never been more palpable than they are in the run up to the current election. It seems like every issue, from the environment to the economy, is being fiercely debated as President Obama and Governor Romney continue their quests to secure the Oval Office seat.
That doesn’t mean that political topics need to be taboo. Even if you disagree with the views of your conversational partner, there’s no reason that a political discussion can’t be thoughtful and illuminating for both of you.