When should we talk about politics? Well, the answer is quite straightforward – whether it’s the coffee shop, workplace or the huge family get together in the backyard, discussing politics always finds a way of leading to arguments, sparking emotions and creating strife. Therefore, the short answer: never. In our current age, politics is among the most sensitive issues dividing the people of our world into factions. Below are the top four reasons why you should avoid bringing up this controversial topic, to lead a safer, happier and far more stress-free life.
1. Your views can harm or discriminate others in the workplace: Political debates are heated issues in which everyone has extreme opinions. However, it is important to remember that your opinions are your own – they need not be expressed amongst a room full of people who may or may not agree with them. They are especially harmful in cases of sensitive topics such as same-sex marriage – your words may seem to negate a particular group of people, and you sure won’t have many fans at work if it did.
2. Discussing politics on social media can make you lose friends, and gain widespread unpopularity: The only thing worse than conversing about this topic in person is tweeting/posting it on social media sites for the whole world to see. You have no idea who is viewing your words, how they are taking it and whether you’ve accidentally set yourself up for something much bigger and unprecedented. The Internet is a force to be reckoned with, and you’re much better off not riling the millions up with a random comment.
3. It is a waste of time: Let’s face it – you will not end up converting a blindly dedicated Republican into a Democrat with a few words in a five-minute speech. Will you anger them? Sure. Will the person judge (both intentionally and unintentionally) you or become biased against your opinion? Probably yes there too. Even though we are not defined by our political views, people will judge us all the same. Don’t waste your time and effort by talking about such a devastatingly sensitive issue.
4. Politics in the workplace hampers productivity: Too much chatter about political issues could distract you from the real work that needs to be done. According to management consultant and company owner, Susan Heathfield, the topics for discussion at work should aim to alleviate the atmosphere and improve employee relationships. The problem with talking about politics is that not only do people exuberantly express their views; they also tend to convince others to change theirs, leading to conflict and problems.
Talk political with the people close to you, and only if you’re 120% sure that doing so is not affecting your relationship in any way. However, for the above reasons and much more, it is best to not discuss politics at all – these days, you’ll see that no good is coming out of it.