Why are you attacked so much on social media for your political leanings?
I’m guessing you think it’s because of your “tell the truth regardless of what happens” attitude. Or maybe because of your hardcore political beliefs. Or it could just be because the left is so intolerant and mean to the right.
That could be true, but have you ever considered it could be this?
You’re just being closed minded?
I know it seems a stretch for you. You’re a right winger, you’re not closed minded. The left is!
You’re accepting of others.
You like talking to new and diverse people.
You even have a few liberal friends.
But are you really as opened minded as you think?
First off, the right isn’t inherently more tolerant than the left. If you’ve spent any time on the internet you know this to be true.
Secondly, I’ve seen what you say on Twitter. I know how you act toward democrats that question your views. I’ve seen the intolerance (and aggressiveness) in your writing.
You’re not opened minded. In fact, you’re the opposite.
You’re obstinate, stubborn, and looking for conflict.
All the signs of someone with a closed mind.
You’re so closed minded that you’re cynical toward the benefits that being open minded give you.
Yes, the benefits are important. Read on.
The Benefit of Being Open Minded
By being open minded, people are drawn to you and respect you.
If you can’t draw people in and earn their respect, you have no chance of creating effective change.
Cultivating an open mind helps you do just that!
“Making a difference doesn’t happen overnight. 90% of the time it happens because you put value in one person’s life.”
How are you putting value in someone’s life if you can’t befriend them? How do you do it if you’re constantly hostile to their views?
You push them away before you even have a chance. You push them away with your aggressive-“I’m smarter than you”-tell-the-truth-no-sugar-coating attitude.
And the sad thing is, you’re telling the truth as an excuse to tick people off.
The point of being tolerance and accepting is to move past the conflict side of our brains that we all deal with.
It’s easier to attack, it’s harder to sit down and have a genuine conversation.
Luckily, having a genuine conversation isn’t impossible. Improving your mental attitude isn’t hard either.
With a few tips, mental reminders, and course corrections you can have an engaging and worthwhile conversation with differing worldviews.
Here’s a few tips to opening up your mind. I personally use these myself to keep an open mind and create meaningful conversations. It’s done wonders for my online image.
If you knew me during my early stint into politics, you would know what I’m talking about (shivers).
Regardless of whether you’re trying to fix your online political image, talk to some crazy anarchists, or better understand your liberal counterparts, these tips will help you do just that.
I’ve broken these tips into 3 categories: tips, mental reminders, and course corrections.
Tips are just general things to remember and apply before you start interacting with people. Mental reminders are for when the conversation gets going (have these in your head to keep you on track). And finally, course corrections are to be used when the conversation is starting to go south.
Feel free to copy and paste it if you want to keep it somewhere to quickly glance at when you need help.
Now for your tips to keeping an open mind…
How to Keep an Open Minded
- Don’t respond to disagreement with a counter argument. Respond with a question. Ask them why they disagree and why they think your view(s) are inferior.
- Be civil and nice, as much as humanely possible. (hehe, I’ve talked about this a lot in my newsletter, remember?)
- Don’t look at it as a debate, look at it as a conversation.
- Don’t engage trolls (unless you’re bored and want some fun)
- Talk to them about things over than politics (hobbies, goals, school, etc)
- Don’t be a troll, like at all. No name calling, cussing, cynicism, or political jabs. If you want to mock people, go back to school and mock a professor. It’s a lot more fun and rewarding, trust me.
- If the conversation is getting too heated, just end it. End it respectfully, please.
- Don’t throw emotional arguments into the conversation. Just don’t do it, at all.
- Relate, relate, relate. Put yourself in their shoes.
- “Everyone has reasons for their views”: a viewpoint might not make sense at first, or it might go against your views, but always remember…that person has legit reasons why they hold those views. So many factors go into shaping your worldview that it’s incredibly naïve to assume they’re ignorant or misinformed.
- You want to understand their view point: Making an enemy is a waste of time. Understanding why they believe “A” and how it affects their life and other views is vital to crafting a relatable message. You want to craft a message that will relate to their view of the world. You want to bring them closer to freedom.
- No self-righteous rhetoric: communicating that you’re better because you believe in “A” instead of “B” is unattractive. It’s also a jerk move. No one cares how good you think you are. They want to know why you believe what you believe. They want to feel understood, not judged from a pedal stool.
- You’re not automatically right: let’s be honest, you don’t know everything, and you’re definitely not right all the time (not even close, buddy). So why pretend like you are? This isn’t about proving yourself, this is about communicating with someone. It’s about grasping what makes their political views turn. You’re not right, you just hold to a different set of beliefs.
- Watch out for emotions: emotions play a heavy part in any political discussion. Your emotions need to sit on the sidelines. Never throw your emotions at anyone, instead, recognize the emotions behind their views. Better yet, address those emotional reasons with sympathy and relatedness. For example, “I totally get where you’re coming from, I too hate it when that happens.” (Here’s an article I wrote on how to use properly use emotion in your conversations)
- If you find yourself getting aggressive or sarcastic here’s two things you can do: go over your responses and pull out any words or phrases that are sarcastic in nature. Respond like you’re asking a normal question, no extra fluff. Also, remind yourself that you want to understand this person’s views. You don’t want to attack them.
- If you’re slipping into that self-righteous attitude do this: ask yourself why your views make you a better person than the other person. Then ask yourself how you know about the other person. Do they volunteer their time, do they donate more money than you? If you can’t accurately answer those questions then you don’t know if they’re better than you. Views alone do not determine a moral high ground.
- If you’re starting to notice that they’re getting defensive, try to put in a few key phrases to calm their nerves. Try these few phrases out next time they start getting defensive; “I’m just wondering,” “I always love a good conversation,” “I’m not trying to be confrontational,” “I understand where you’re coming from and I agree that we should help [blank].”
Putting it all Together
I’m not gonna lie, this is a big mindset change.
It took me at least two years to make the transition over from aggressive debater to conversationalist.
It was a gradual process. But it’s a process you can shorten.
As long as you’re willing to change your mindset and implement the steps I’ve given you, everything will go smoothly.
Think of it like the time when you grew out of your childish attitude.
No longer did you treat your siblings like crap. No longer did you get mad if you didn’t get your way. No longer did you push your friends around.
With these tips, you’re growing out of your childish “I’m always right” attitude.
It’s not about winning the debate. It’s about creating a friendship and understanding the person so that, eventually, you can win them over for the cause of Freedom.
That should be the ultimate goal in every political conversation you have.
“How can I interact with this person in a way that makes them want to talk to me again?”
You want them to come back. You want them to enjoy talking with you about economics, news, and other political tidbits.
They’re not going to do that if you don’t have the right mindset.
The right mindset being: I want to understand where they’re coming from, and have a meaningful conversation about it.
Keep that in the back of your head at all times.
You’ll do just fine.