Tips for Polite Political Conversation


As published in Azalea Magazine Spring 2016

You have surely heard the old adage to, “never discuss, religion or
politics,” deeming the two topics unfit for polite company.

Well, the times, they are a-changin’. The elections are everywhere,
and talking politics is happening everywhere from boardrooms to family

Here are my tips for polite, constructive political dialogue:

  • Stick to the facts. What are the recent headlines? What is the
    candidate’s stance? What was discussed in the debate?
  • Listen. Don’t monopolize the conversation. Even if you disagree with
    the comments of others, show respect by asking questions. You may be
    surprised to learn something new!
  • Keep it clean. Use your best judgment and keep your interactions
    civil. Don’t allow yourself to get worked up. It is best to remain
    reserved not only with your words but also with your tone of voice and
    body language.
  • Assume nothing. Don’t presume that someone agrees with you–or
    disagrees, for that matter.
  • Have an exit strategy. If you find yourself in a political debate and
    it’s getting heated, you can say, “I guess we just don’t see
    eye-to-eye;” or: “I’ll have to consider that;” and then change the

The principle of etiquette is to treat others with consideration. I
would venture to say that with respect and consideration, even
politics and religion can be topics fit for polite conversation.

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