Tag Archives: communication

Arguing – Conservative vs Liberal

I’m speaking in general terms here – VERY general.

Contender

I’ve seen a trend in political discussions on the internet. People from every political corner of the internet like to argue and insult each other.  What I’ve noticed is that conservatives go about it in different ways than liberals.

Conservatives

  • Bad grammar.
  • Abbreviations like “u” for “you” – “ur” for “you are” or “your.”
  • Crass insults, like saying someone deserved to be beaten or die or such.
  • An attitude that conveys “I am holier.”
  • Over reliance on religion
    • Saying “you will burn in hell for {insert your favorite ending here}.”
    • Replying with “Amen” if they agree with the previous denigrator.

Liberals

  • Big words, maybe trying to imply the other person is vacuous.
  • Long sentences, sometimes paragraphs, with complete punctuation.
  • Reliance on logic, sometimes faulty, to make a point.
  • An attitude than conveys “I am more intelligent.”

Reality

In life, always remember that your reality may be different from another person’s reality.  This would go a LONG way in solving problems – vast and small.

What this means, is that two people can share an experience, but come away from it with different feelings, different meaning, different interpretations, and therefore different realities.

It does not mean that one is wrong and one is right.It means that dialogue needs to take place to gain a better understanding of the differences.

Imagine what the world would be like if we were to always keep this in mind. No, it wouldn’t erase problems.  That would be boring.  It would allow us to be empathetic to others and work through problems.

Talking Politics

Here are some basic tips for surviving discussions on sensitive topics, such as politics.

  • Avoid name calling. It just makes you look like a big baby. Ad hominem.
  • Don’t assume you know a person’s views based on a few words you see on your screen.
  • Words on a screen are void of facial expression, tone and body language – so try not to assign emotion to things you read. You’ll probably be wrong or exaggerated in what you assign. I know that I’ve been horribly wrong, reading too much into things.
  • Carefully choose your words when discussing hot topics.
  • Lighten up – damn it.
  • Admit that most people are not stupid just because they don’t share your opinion. Many people hold opinions for valid, well though out reasons.
  • Don’t take differing view points so personal.

You Are The Problem

In general, I don’t like the statement in the subject, “You are the problem!” In particular, I don’t like it when it is used in situations where there is a “perceived” problem, which in many cases turns out to simply be a difference of opinion.

Let’s say that some people have a certain view point and believe that people who don’t agree are causing some type of problem. The people who don’t agree with the first group either do not see a problem, or may even see the first group as the problem (or part of the problem).

Now I’d like to share the scenario that prompted this post. I was browsing through a Facebook meme post regarding rights. It had a quote from Karl Marx, “Remove one freedom per generation and soon you will have no freedom and no one would have noticed.

In the comments, there were a lot of references to libtards, liberal scum, sheep, etc. Insults to the intelligence of a broad range of people. And MANY references to God, prayer, taking back our nation (I keep asking who took it away from us), and fighting for our nation.

Here’s the kicker, one person basically said that non believers are “why we are in trouble.”

I feel pretty powerful now. America is “in trouble” because I don’t believe in God! I wonder what would happen if all of us “nones” suddenly started believing in God. America would be GREAT again?

No, probably not. Here’s what I think would make us a great nation. Forget about the past – look to the future. Do not aim to take away existing rights, even if you disagree with those rights. Seek to maintain rights and only make changes that would keep the public safer. Engage in dialog to understand differing view points. Read a variety of sources on a given topic. Understand that there is a TON of diversity in the world and people have different views on issues – and those different views do NOT make them less intelligent than you.

America’s Problem #3

This is more of a humanity problem, not specific to Americans. We don’t know how to communicate effectively when negative feelings may be involved. It is a very simple concept, but one that is very difficult to learn to the point of it being the natural communication style we revert to when under stress.

Consider these two conversations.

You Statement – Placing Blame

Why do you always poke around when we’re trying to leave so we can be on time?

I Statement – Sharing My Concern

When you take a long time getting ready I feel stressed out that we’re going to be late then I feel grumpy for awhile after that.

The You statement puts the receiver on the defensive because it sends subliminal messages of blame.  The I statement does not blame, but shares how the sender is affected by the situation.

America’s Problem #2

Negativity. Some of us

  • Insult the person who disagrees with us. We can’t accept that people may have well thought out reasons for thinking differently and just learn to accept that fact.
  • Call the person who chooses a different life style weird, lazy, stupid, etc. We don’t like people who are different.
  • Think that the person who doesn’t believe what we believe is just stupid or wrong. We can’t tolerate people’s differences.
  • Treat innocent mistakes in traffic like intentional rudeness. We cannot give the benefit of the doubt.
  • Will be rude to a person we believe is not driving fast enough, by either riding their tail or passing in a rude manner. We believe we own the road and the world revolves around us.
  • Believe that if you look different or talk with a different accent (or worse yet – speak in a different language), you must be stupid, bad, or just need to learn how to be a Murican. We don’t like people who are different. And if they look like they might be Muslim, we don’t like them and we certainly don’t trust them.
  • Let life’s minor irritation get the best of us. We haven’t learned to let go and focus on what is good in our lives.

America’s Problem #1

Widening political divide. Not only do more people strongly identify as conservative or liberal; but they also shun people with opposing views.

It is very difficult to communicate with someone if you are automatically discrediting them based on their political party. Discussion may make people realize they have more common ground than they think.