Political discussions are rampant among peers, especially those pursuing higher-level studies. Given how advanced the world is, everyone is getting attached to politics and obsessed with political trends. Since politics drives people’s welfare, most people feel the need to analyze how national leaders and government officials are running the country and throw around controversial statements.
However, some individuals find it boring and uninterested to talk about politics. There are vast ways to avoid this kind of conversation.
One way of achieving this lies in a person questioning, “Why am I doing this?” [Source] This is an internal decision to understand the reason behind talking politics. “In terms of deciding whether or not you want to have a conversation with somebody across political lines, it is important to be aware of what your motivations are,” as noted by Tania Israel, author of “Beyond Your Bubble: How to Connect Across the Political Divide: Skills and Strategies for Conversations That Work.” As long as there are no comprehensive reasons behind political discourse, there is no need to engage.
One can also “be prepared to listen, not talk” as a mechanism to avoid unwanted topics. For a conversation to continue, there is a need for two people involved to go back and forth conversing so that the conversation goes on. In light of this, a person can stamp out a topic by not contributing anything until the speaker keeps quiet.
Some parties suggest that when a person finds themselves locked in a conversation they hate, it is better to stop by saying something else respectful [Source]. Various phrases were put forward, which are centered on respectfully interjecting the speaker or politely suggesting another topic, or being honest by saying that such topics are not your cup of tea.
A more confronting method will be introducing a topic known to be interesting to the one who wants to talk about politics [Source]. For instance, when person A, a football fan, starts a political conversation, person B can refer to football results or soccer players transfers to distract person A from talking about politics. It was also suggested that it is safe to put down ground rules whereby all your friends know that you hate politics and completely loathe the topic.
The Hawk Eye posited that to avoid political discussions, people gathered around should lay down ground rules for topics to be avoided [Source]. An example was given with people who have gathered for Thanksgiving dinner. It was argued that it is wise to inform everyone about topics to be avoided.
People already have table rules for those who gather to eat, and among those rules, one can ban certain topics. It is also believed that explicitly ditching a topic can teach those around you never to start those subjects when you are around. For example, suppose a political topic erupts. In that case, a person can stop it at the beginning and inform the conversers not to be included in those discussions. The key is avoiding any heated debates and sticking with simple statements like “I don’t want to talk about that right now.”
Avoiding political discussions with friends is achievable. Follow these steps and make sure that you do not come across as rude or offensive. Whatever your approach ends up being, remember that politeness will go a long way! What have been some strategies for politely turning down political conversations?