Talking with Loved Ones about Trump

As I prepare to talk with and listen to loved ones over the holidays, I found this guide helpful in discussing Trump’s presidency.

A general summary of “How to talk to your loved ones about a Donald Trump presidency”

  • Take care of yourself first.
  • Take the long view of your relationship.
  • Meet them where they are and listen.
  • Engage their interests, not their positions. Interests are things like “health care is important.” Positions are things like “Obamacare is [good/bad].” If your positions aren’t aligned (and they probably aren’t!) you end at “well I guess we’ll have to agree to disagree.” If you can engage on the level of interests, you can build a frame to talk about positions in the future.”
  • Feelings and stories, not facts. You’re probably operating from a different set of facts than your loved one. Fighting them about the details of what they’re wrong about is unlikely to actually change their minds. Talk about how you feel (“I’m scared of losing my health care because I have a chronic condition”) and stories from your friends (“My Muslim friends have seen a huge uptick in hate speech since the election”) instead of getting into an academic discourse.”
  • Give them space.


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