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Learn To Stop Arguing Politics!

Two workshops focus on civility and the skills it takes to agree to disagree in otherwise heated political discussions -- even those at the Thanksgiving dinner table.

Election results may be in, but the anger and incivility that plague most political discussions is still out there.

The League of Women Voters of the Comal Area (LWV-CA) says it’s time to stop arguing and start listening.

President Roxanna Deane said two upcoming seminars sponsored by the league and Unitarian Universalists of New Braunfels are designed to help people simmer down.

“Civility at the Table” is scheduled from 1 to 2:30 p.m. Saturday at the church, 135 Alves Ln., New Braunfels. A follow-up session for those who interact with elected officials and Texas legislators, “Civility at the Texas Capitol,”  runs from 1 to 2:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 17,  also at the church.

Deane said she and another league member, Kathie Jinks, will discuss tools anyone can use to show respect, listen, understand, check biases and even agree to disagree.

“The workshop will also provide an opportunity to practice these civility skills, which attendees may find useful during family holiday gatherings,” she said.

The second session also includes information about how bills are introduced, the best time to visit representatives, and how to talk to legislative staff. Deane said teachers and gun-safety advocates are examples of individuals who regularly interact with state legislators.

“The issue is that being civil does not in any way mean that you give up your passion or your beliefs,”  Deane said. “It’s just that you do not have to be disagreeable in putting forth those beliefs. We’re not trying to water down anything people care about. But if we don’t start, ourselves, being more civil and learning how to talk to people, we can’t expect anyone else to do it.”

“Change begins with each of us taking time to really listen to people with different perspectives and trying to understand their viewpoints,” she said. “Change happens when we can check our biases and see each other as individuals with experiences and stories as valuable as our own.”

“Be civil to all.” — Benjamin Franklin

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