How To!

How To Talk Politics Without Wrecking Relationships

My parents are die-hard Trump fans. I can’t stand him. How do we make this work?

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Episode Notes

On a recent phone call Shannon’s mom didn’t mince words: The only way she’d vote for Joe Biden is if Jesus himself comes down and tells her to. Growing up in a conservative household, Shannon understands her parents’ support for Trump. But she no longer sees eye-to-eye with them and every time they talk about politics it turns into a fight. The result is a complete fraying of their relationship. In this episode of How To!, we bring on Bill Doherty, professor of family social science at the University of Minnesota, and co-founder of the non-profit Braver Angels, to help Shannon and her parents navigate this heated election season. The most important thing to remember, Bill says, is that you can’t change your parents’ minds. But you can still save your relationship by recognizing shared values and treating each other as people, not political opponents.

If you liked this episode, check out “How To Get a Stubborn Parent to Listen.”

Do you have a relationship you’d like to mend? Send us a note at howto@slate.com or leave us a voicemail at 646-495-4001 and we might have you on the show. Subscribe for free on Apple, Spotify or wherever you listen.

Podcast production by Derek John, Rachael Allen, and Rosemary Belson.

About the Show

What if Dear Abby were an investigative reporter? Each week, Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist Charles Duhigg (The Power of Habit) takes on listeners’ toughest problems and, with the help of experts, finds the answers to questions you’ve always wanted to ask but couldn’t. Until now.

Do you have a problem that needs solving? Have you found the advice on our podcast helpful? Send us a note at howto@slate.com or leave us a voicemail at 646-495-4001 and we might play it on the air.

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