This holiday season, as family members with opposing views on climate change share time together, explosive screaming matches may seem inevitable. If you’re gearing up for a conversation on the climate crisis, here are some key techniques that will ensure your dinner table conversations are productive and don’t burn bridges.
- Remain positive and open-minded
The moment you resort to getting upset, any productivity in the conversation has ended. This doesn’t mean you have to agree with what your family member or friend is saying, or allow them to be purposely rude to you. Try your best to maintain your cool and not take the things they say personally, especially if they did not mean it that way. Do your best to remain calm and see things from their perspective without coming across as condescending. Think about your own motives and attitude — if you truly do want to understand why they believe what they believe and reach a middle ground, that authenticity is sure to come through.
But if they are being combative or refusing to listen to your perspective, you may just have to let it go. It can really be upsetting to see someone you care about refusing to relate to you, but some people are unwilling and that is not something you can blame yourself for. If this is the case, just try to redirect the conversation to something non-political and avoid returning to that conversation.