If you have more, please send them to me and I will add them ...
Does that mean that we have to reach an agreement or compromise? No. The goal of the conversation is not to agree, the goal is to listen to the views of the other person and learn something new. Does that mean that I should stop fighting for my cause X, and I should just be politely listening to people? No. To fight for you believe in, take part in local or national politics is of course necessary and please continue doing that. “Out of my bubble” conversations is a parallel activity that can bring interesting insights.
How to invite someone to have “out of my bubble” conversation? It might be weird … I find it rather weird that we usually avoid this kind of conversation. An example of an invite below. Hi Martina, how are you? We have not seen each other for some time. I know that we have different opinions on X and that we had an argument about this last time. I would like to talk about this with you and would like to understand your perspective on this. And I would like to invite you to listen to mine. Maybe we could talk about this and not try to convince each other? Maybe sometime next week at my place/in the bar/in the café? And we can also talk about the cycling race next year. Why this is important to me? Because ABC … What is in it for you? CDE … Bests Eva
I would prefer to have these conversations on Facebook or by email. I really would not recommend that. Maybe on Skype or on the phone, but face to face is the best. Virtual communications often lead to even more confusion and misunderstanding.
What if my partner does not want to talk to me in this way? If he/she does not accept your invitation, there is not much you can do, just try somebody else. If he/she accepts and then does not keep to the way of having dialogue (does not share time, attacks you personally etc.), you can try reminding him/her and/or be yourself an example. But sometimes is is just too hard (although simple, not easy!).
Thanks, Eva, but I just think this does not make sense for me/I will not have a minute to spare before end of January/I don’t have a good excuse but just do not feel like it. That is fine - no need to apologize. It would be great if you could let me know those, so that I could ask someone else do to this as part of the pilot.
Do you really think these type of conversations can stop the polarization of society? I am convinced about that (and of course, I could be wrong). I have not found any convincing research on the topic (if you have some, please send it over). What I like about it is that each of us can do something and we do not have to wait for politicians. Sometimes I think that if I only spent 10% of the time I spend talking to people in my “bubble” or reading about politics on the web, to having these conversations, it would be more interesting.
I am probably living in a total bubble, because I do not know anybody with a different vies on refugees/homosexuals/Islam/Trump/Brexit. But I would really like to try to have an “out of the bubble” conversation. Please write or call to me and if I have someone else in a similar case, maybe I can put you together.
Does it mean that bubbles are bad? I quite like mine … Bubbles are of course natural. It is natural to spend time with people who I understand and share my views with. Defining myself as part of a group has all kinds of psychological benefits - mainly a sense of belonging and not being alone. The disadvantage of long term stay inside the bubble is the development of intellectual habits such as black and white thinking and exaggerating negative stereotypes about the “other side”. That is why “out of my bubble” conversations are so important.
Can I forward this invitation to my friends? As this is intended as my (Eva’s) private initiative - if you have a friend who is interested, please connect us and I will send him the invitation. In a later phase, maybe we can make this really public, but I would like to test it first.
I am still struggling with my motivation to do this. I am not sure how open I really am to other points of view on X. As much as I try, I am convinced that people who voted for X, are self-centered, stupid and close minded.
Sorry to hear that - I think it is easier to live without thinking that about a large part of one’s co-citizens, but I do understand it and empathize with this. And of course, you are not alone to think that.
As far-fetched as it might seem, I warmly recommend the book written by former FBI hostage negotiator Chris Voss Never Split the Difference. Negotiating as if Your Life Depended On It. Voss argues very convincingly, that even when negotiating about hostages (where he has no illusions about the “other side”), it is worthwhile to have “tactical empathy”. He starts with the premise that people want to be understood and accepted. An effective negotiator shows empathy and a genuine desire to understand what his “partner” is going through. If you have no time to read the book here is a short article from him. And maybe read my after-Brexit blog about your options - what else can you do?