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Old 05-26-2016, 12:44 PM   #41
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I work in public policy, so I have to deal with this all the time. Working with people with opposing views is a skill that is learned and refined like any other skill. It isn't accidental or simply an application of the Golden Rule.

All moderately-successful politicians acquire these skills along the way and can apply them to other areas of their lives.

Miss Manners has a great take on this. The idea is that good manners leaves open the possibility for future positive interactions, even though we disagree on the issue before us today. That is the essence of state-craft.

So, in public policy we don't take things personally, we keep options open for negotiations, we build relationships, and we never question someone else's belief system.
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Old 05-26-2016, 09:02 PM   #42
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I can almost always find something that I agree with my companion of the moment on. I steer toward that and leave well enough alone.

(libertarian agnostic with admiration for judeo-christian religions (and the religious) and their overall beneficial impact on western civilization both today and historically; if I search for it, I can always find ways to antagonize, or not, just about anyone!)


Some of my friends are pretty simple....You may have to spend the first 10 minutes explaining the words "Libertarian" and "agnostic" before you could even begin the debate.


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Old 05-26-2016, 10:23 PM   #43
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Some of my friends are pretty simple....You may have to spend the first 10 minutes explaining the words "Libertarian" and "agnostic" before you could even begin the debate.


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Try explaining "pastafarian"...
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Old 05-26-2016, 10:29 PM   #44
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Old 05-26-2016, 11:55 PM   #45
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I try hard to live by a very simple rule these days: MYOFB. I don't always succeed, but since more and more it seems like nobody even wants to have an open debate (they just want to mark their position and not listen to the other side) engaging seems like a waste of time and effort these days.
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Old 05-27-2016, 03:14 AM   #46
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I go online for this, no not this forum, but I admit I have a bit of fun trolling.
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Old 05-27-2016, 05:36 AM   #47
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With many topics, I run into this on a daily basis, both at work and with my retired friends in Mexico. I find it interesting because the wife and I have shifted our opinions on many topics 180 degrees, mainly religion and politics. It's funny to have someone speak to you as if you don't understand their side of the argument, when you actually agreed with them for many decades. I like to think it makes me much more qualified to have an honest discussion on the topic, but it rarely leads to any enlightenment.

I've completely stopped debating these topics online since I discovered that most of the time it actually causes people to become even *more* entrenched in their position. In other words, it achieves the exact opposite of the intended effect.

https://youarenotsosmart.com/2011/06...ckfire-effect/
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Old 05-27-2016, 06:29 AM   #48
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I felt like an outcast through much of my youth--misunderstood at home; bullied at school. I developed a strong ability to do my own thing despite opposition, and it paid off for me. I entered adulthood confident in my own skills, ability to learn, and ability to thrive at whatever I decided to do. How do I handle difference? I'm tolerant of others because I know I won't be likely to change them, certainly not by arguing. And I very often simply pull back from a person or people whose differences are so grating or so disturbing and just go about living my own life. Ultimately we are in control of who we want to associate with.
+1 Similar to me.
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Old 05-30-2016, 06:12 PM   #49
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I try hard to live by a very simple rule these days: MYOFB. I don't always succeed, but since more and more it seems like nobody even wants to have an open debate (they just want to mark their position and not listen to the other side) engaging seems like a waste of time and effort these days.
A few years back I started listening to a podcast called "Left, Right, and Center" ( from wiki, their intro was - "Left, Right, & Center is a weekly half-hour public radio program that provides a "civilized yet provocative antidote to the screaming talking heads that dominate political debate"").

Well, not really. In turn they each just spouted their talking points with very little actual debate or interaction. Similar to the politicians who are asked a question, and just give an unrelated 'answer' of what they wanted to talk about anyhow.

-ERD50
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Old 05-30-2016, 07:55 PM   #50
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To make the world pure, there cannot be a turquoise. One neighbor insists my house is green; another says it's blue. They are dug in. Ideology must color literally everything, even an house.
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Old 05-30-2016, 08:05 PM   #51
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I consider myself to be fortunate. My parents always stressed, among other things, a very open acceptance of others. Did not matter if it was lifestyle, socioeconomic status, faith, whatever. We were taught to question and not to accept something just because someone espoused it. Plus I was raised in a very laissez faire part of the country.

I married into a family of faith, so much so that they really did believe that their version was the one and only and anything that their Pastor espoused on a Sunday or said at any other time was true and absolute. My spouse was raised in a small, very conservative part of the country. It was one of the reasons why we did not raise our children in this environment or attend any churches with this outlook.

Even today after forty years of travel and living in various parts of the country these differences are evident in how we each see the world. Now, we very much see the differences between our respective relatives.
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Old 05-31-2016, 10:56 PM   #52
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I suspect some people are not happy unless they can argue about whatever...... .
For the most part I enjoy hearing other folks viewpoints, sometimes I learn something new or useful, other times it just reinforces my view that I'm right.

Occasionally I'll go over and talk to my friendly neighbor and bait him into a political subject, where he will go on and on and on about his view on politics, while I poke and prod his arguments.
I think it makes him happy to be able to express his thoughts and "educate" me
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Old 06-01-2016, 07:36 AM   #53
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...
Occasionally I'll go over and talk to my friendly neighbor and bait him into a political subject, where he will go on and on and on about his view on politics, while I poke and prod his arguments.
I think it makes him happy to be able to express his thoughts and "educate" me
I'll opt for hitting myself in the thumb with a hammer (which I'm quite good at!). It feels so good when I stop.
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Old 06-01-2016, 09:56 AM   #54
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Last Friday evening, a diverse group of friends sat around talking about NC's HB2 and the effect on the community. I feared the discussion would turn towards the politics (bashing the right and left), but the debate centered on why we as a nation have become so split with no middle ground! Why we can't talk without turning to yelling and accusing the other side. It was refreshing.


Have the day you deserve, and let Karma sort it out.

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Old 06-03-2016, 11:43 AM   #55
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I consider myself to be fortunate. My parents always stressed, among other things, a very open acceptance of others. Did not matter if it was lifestyle, socioeconomic status, faith, whatever. We were taught to question and not to accept something just because someone espoused it. Plus I was raised in a very laissez faire part of the country.
My family created an object lesson for me in what not to do. It was very instructive. If they say X, then let me consider Y!

It has served me very well. I learn a lot more by listening than by talking. But after listening to everyone, I get their attention when I finally contribute.
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Old 06-03-2016, 11:59 AM   #56
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I enjoy conversing about difficult issues, what I do not enjoy is being taken hostage. I also find broad sweeping generalizations to be very hard to swallow.

Meaning if you are so rude (brash?) as to make a statement that contains assumptions about my belief system(s), or that is clearly an overstatement, I'm going to push back at you.

Otherwise, nope, I don't go around looking to push my opinions onto anyone. Opinions are something we all have, and not a one is the same I'm sure.
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Old 06-04-2016, 11:13 AM   #57
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I have a long time workmate* (long since retired) who never says much. But when he finally speaks, everyone listens. I think it is the difference between quantity and quality.

* Known him since 1968
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Old 06-04-2016, 12:09 PM   #58
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I try to be tolerant and internalize a lot of my feelings. It's necessary in a diverse family as no one can win if another is losing

FWIW: I'm invited to a nephew's wedding next week. This brother has never acknowledged me other than anti- Semetic rants and doubting my diplomas (I was kicked out at 16, became homeless, nevertheless graduated Summa Cum Laude from Berkeley & hold an MA from CSUDH, and am Jewish as was Dad). Yet I'm expected to go & gift $$s + 8 plates / bowls (yes, I got the memo).

Single parent (yes they say I'm a failure) Republican who cannot support Trump's agenda (just why would Mexico pay for his fence?) who will get an earful from an opinionated Tea Bag sister on how I am a traitor if I vote for anyone else or mention a BF or my gay grandson

Thankfully I have 2 other sisters (1 Jewish, 1 Christian) and it's at a winery
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Old 06-04-2016, 12:20 PM   #59
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Oh, gayl, that sounds awful. Me, I wouldn't go!


But...at least at a winery, there might be some tastings to distract people from all those rampaging opinions?

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I try to be tolerant and internalize a lot of my feelings. It's necessary in a diverse family as no one can win if another is losing

FWIW: I'm invited to a nephew's wedding next week. This brother has never acknowledged me other than anti- Semetic rants and doubting my diplomas (I was kicked out at 16, became homeless, nevertheless graduated Summa Cum Laude from Berkeley & hold an MA from CSUDH, and am Jewish as was Dad). Yet I'm expected to go & gift $$s + 8 plates / bowls (yes, I got the memo).

Single parent (yes they say I'm a failure) Republican who cannot support Trump's agenda (just why would Mexico pay for his fence?) who will get an earful from an opinionated Tea Bag sister on how I am a traitor if I vote for anyone else or mention a BF or my gay grandson

Thankfully I have 2 other sisters (1 Jewish, 1 Christian) and it's at a winery
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Old 06-04-2016, 12:35 PM   #60
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While I do enjoy harmony as much as the next person, I don't have any problem speaking up when someone is spouting nonsense. People are entitled to their own opinion, but they are not entitled to their own facts. Some people do not deserve quiet acceptance of their ignorance.
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