Surviving politics in 2016: Don't try to win the argument

Maidenberg and Vangelisti offered a cheat sheet for how to diffuse those types of conflicts—without giving up on your own beliefs:

If you can physically leave the situation (or close the Facebook tab), say something like, “I continue to disagree with you, but I’d prefer not to fight about it.” This is savvy, Vangelisti said, because it allows you to stick to your guns while looking reasonable and well-mannered. Look at you on that high road!

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If it’s too late for that, or if you’re trapped at a dinner or another setting where escape isn’t possible, try asking the other person endless questions about their beliefs. “You can refocus the conversation on the person’s feelings, like ‘It sounds like you’re really worried about terrorism, why is that?’” Vangelisti said. “Then, it can be a different conversation than banning Muslims.”

What if their answers make clear that the sources of their facts are, to you, wrong? Maidenberg suggested acknowledging the validity of their point of view by saying, for example, “I can see that you think that, given the sources of information that you have.” (Ed: This one, while perhaps the most satisfying, might get you punched in the face.)

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