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How to Talk to People You Disagree With

How to Talk to People You Disagree With

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There will always be people whom we disagree with. In part this is because of the wonderful complexity and diversity of human beings. Yet this becomes particularly sticky when we encounter areas of disagreement about which we are tempted to feel disgusted with, or appalled by, the beliefs or actions of our fellow humans. In these moments of our own intense reactions to others we might start to imply, or suggest outright, that they are somehow less than as we cry out, “How can I possibly talk to them and convince them of their stupidity?!” I want to suggest that this very human, common impulse, ultimately does not work, and that instead we are invited to do the very difficult, painful work of expanding our capacity to listen with genuine curiosity, compassion and empathy, which can become one of the most challenging, and rewarding, endeavors of our life.

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