Tuesday, April 30, 2013

How to win friends and not make your whole family hate you

In about four seconds, Maggie goes from singing and playing "twinkle twinkle" to deciding and conveying that something sucks (it is kind of blurry but she has the fattest bottom lip/biggest pouty face ever as she walks away). Yes, Maggie. You are definitely my child. You keep living your truth, little one.

If you are like me, you can't visit your parents without getting in a huge fight with your dad about politics (etc.) And maybe you have tried to not talk about politics, but no matter how hard you try, someone in the family can find a way to make anything political (hint: it's not even me, I PROMISE). 
So if that sounds familiar, we should hang out! Because my family doesn't seem to enjoy my company much for some reason. But seriously, I think I've found a plan thanks to some advice from a coworker and this: Extreme Political Attitudes May Stem From an Illusion of Understanding.
The research suggests that people may hold extreme policy positions because they are under an illusion of understanding — attempting to explain the nuts and bolts of how a policy works forces them to acknowledge that they don’t know as much about the policy as they initially thought.
The next time you are hanging out with someone who starts ranting crazy about politics, instead of arguing, just ask questions. {the key is, try not to sound too patronizing.} That is interesting, could you explain that a little more? And how are the two related, exactly? I still am not sure I understand how you got from "a" to "b." I see, so what makes you feel that way? That is interesting, but how do you explain "x"?

It is a win/win, because you aren't being confrontational (because confrontation is bad?? I don't know. Don't ask me, I'm the one who offends my whole family. And also some of their friends via Facebook) and you will probably be more effective at helping them realize they aren't making that much sense (you know, than if you were to just straight up tell them something along the lines of, "that's actually really stupid"). BAM. You're welcome.

{btw, my family doesn't actually hate me and v/v}
{and also, my family doesn't read my blog. not very often anyway. it's just you and me around here. hugs.}

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