• Other Friendship Advice

In the Media – Friendship and Politics (BBC)

Published: May 8, 2015 | Last Updated: May 8, 2015 By | Reply Continue Reading

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May 7, 2015

Mixing friendship and politics can be tricky.

While politics can create connections (after all, such affiliations often reflect shared values)—some political discussions can be divisive causing friction, even fracturing long-time friendships.

On the cusp of the UK election, BBC Newsbeat reporter Amelia Butterly interviewed The Friendship Doctor on the topic of “What if your Facebook friend voted for the party you hate?”

The emphasis of her article is on how to talk about politics to friends without creating acrimony. Offering advice on how to diffuse a conflict once it occurs, she writes:

Dr Levine says if you’re in the middle of an argument and you can’t see a resolution, try to make the other person just “agree to disagree” instead and move on from the conversation.

And if you realise you’ve been a bit too forceful with your own opinions?

“Apologise as soon as you recognise you may have made the other person uncomfortable,” says Dr Levine.

“No-one’s perfect and people do make mistakes. Politics can get very emotionally charged.”

You can read the article in its entirety on the BBC website.

Coincidentally, an article in the technology section of the New York Times published on the same day, Facebook Use Polarizing: Sites Beg to Differ also touches on friendship and politics. The article discusses a recent study that examined whether users places themselves in “echo chambers,” only connecting and listening to people with whom they agree.

Read together, these two articles may be of interest.

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