It’s bound to happen: you and your family will disagree on something, and it will cause tension. Some of the most common arguments that come up in a family have to do with politics, which are already messy without the help of your aunts and uncles differing opinions. It’s silly to let something such as political views to get between you and those you love most, so here are some reminders when this dreaded topic pops up at dinner.
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In all honesty, it might seem best to avoid politics at any family function, just as everyone is told to never talk about them on a date. It is important, however, to have an open and honest relationship with the people you are related to; we don’t get to choose who our grandparents or cousins are, and we should never try to jeopardize those relationships. Sure, talking openly and honestly about politics can be difficult, especially when you don’t agree with others, but knowing how another person thinks is the first step toward understanding them better.
Telling your family what you think in political situations doesn’t mean that arguing and yelling should ensue; honesty goes hand-in-hand with respect. Just because you don’t agree with someone in your family about our current president or on topics like abortion and gun control, doesn’t mean you should tell them that they are wrong. Everyone is entitled to their individual opinion, and you need to be respectful of that, even if you feel completely opposed to their views.
If you learn to be honest and respectful of opinions that differ from yours, you are more likely to understand where they are coming from. Being able to understand why your mom or dad feels a certain way about something, helps you to understand their point of view and better explain your own. Simply listening to what your family members have to say about something, even if it sounds ridiculous to you, builds respect even in light of an argument.
I recently found out that my cousin voted for Trump, which amazed me just because I would never do the same thing. Instead of telling her she was wrong and that I was upset with her, I asked her why she made the decision that she did and then talked to her about why I did not make the same one. It’s important to remember that, like in the case, you will probably not be able to change a family member’s mind, and that’s okay. The point of a multiple-party system is so that we can safely and healthy express our different opinions, and you should never try to change someone’s view just because you don’t agree.
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If you ever politically disagree with anyone in your family, just remember to be honest, respectful and understanding. There might be tension, but there doesn’t have to be. Just remember that not everyone has to agree with you, you just have to be able to fight for what you believe, despite the others.