The more we disagree, the more important it is to be courteous and to focus on the issue and not the person.
Praise the other personA conversation calls for two participants. Praise your opponent for having the courage to take part in the conversation. The more positive statements we exchange, the greater mutual confidence we build.
Both you and your opponent can become frustrated or feel powerless or fear a loss of identity, values or principles. Acknowledge your opponent’s feelings, even if you do not agree with his or her arguments.
Find a common starting poin
We have so much more that connects us than divides us. Begin by finding something you both agree on. After that, it is easier to talk about differences of opinion
See the person
It is fair to distance yourself from the attitude or opinion, not from the person. A person is different from and more than his or her attitudes and opinions.
Listen and look for a common language
Listen for words and examples that express the other person’s values. Try to repeat and return to what you can identify with.
Where there is food, there is peace. Invite yourself in, and remember to bring something to eat.
Humor is one of the fastest, most direct and effective ways to build bridges between people. When we laugh together, we can also cry together.
It takes time and patience to build trust. Along the way, it can look dark, but that is just because the tunnel isn’t straight – there is always light at the end.
Friendship is a vaccination
When you build a bridge, you establish a friendship which is a vaccine against prejudice and which will help you to remember each other’s special nuances.
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