Politics can often be a tricky topic of conversation; it forms the basis of each of our lives, regardless of how much we actively engage in it. There are such a wide array of stances on so many issues, that you’re always bound to find a difference of opinion from one person to the next. Despite the risk of upset, talking politics can be a really stimulating and interesting experience, even when you come across someone with differing views. That is, of course, provided you know how to go about doing it the right way.
Know the basics – You wouldn’t start a conversation about metaphysics, for example, without at least knowing its most basic concepts, would you? Well, the same can be said for politics. If you don’t know the basic structure of your country’s politics system, it’s highly unlikely that the conversation will end with you coming across as a Smart Girl. Use a trusted source, like the White House site, to get to grips with the basic concept of your country and/or state’s political system. Once you’ve familiarised yourself with that, you could then branch out and research how other country’s politics differ from your own. From personal experience, British and U.S. politics are completely different from one another in many different ways and make for an interesting pair for comparison.
Do your homework – A Smart Girl will also try to stay up to date on what’s going on in the political world, whether that be globally, in Washington or in her own backyard. Watching the news and reading newspapers is probably the best way to be in the know of all the most important things. I’d also recommend choosing to watch or read reports from unbiased sources in order to get a general feel for the issues without being immediately presented with a pre-conceived opinion. Alternatively, should you choose to read from sources which give a particular viewpoint, it would also be worth reading other sources which offer a differing view, so as to familiarise yourself with both sides of the coin. By reading impartial sources, a Smart Girl can then talk about an issue with a fuller and more developed understanding of the topic at hand.
Keep it cool – Of course, reading impartial sources doesn’t mean that you aren’t allowed an opinion of your own. Rather, when it comes to politics, remaining impartial is often a hindrance rather than a help. If you decide to share your opinion with others, however, you should prepare for them to not necessarily agree with you. After all, a difference of opinion was the fundamental catalyst for the birth of modern day politics and that’s what makes it so interesting. Don’t be afraid to say your piece, provided you’re up to date and in the know with what you’re talking about and don’t be afraid to discuss your opinion with others that may not see the issue in the same light as you. Remember, however, to keep an open mind. Narrow-mindedness is never an attractive trait to display, especially when talking politics. It’s perfectly fine to be confident in your belief, but to knock others down simply for thinking differently will only end badly.
Don’t flog a dead horse – In other words, know when to call it a day and walk away. When a discussion turns into an argument, it’s rarely worth carrying it on. This is the turning point where regrettable things can be said that can’t be taken back and whilst its good to be passionate about politics, a Smart Girl knows when its time to just accept that the person they’re talking to is never going to see things the way she wants them to.