How To!

How To Talk Politics With Your Dad (Without Yelling) Pt 1

Mónica Guzmán on aiming for understanding—not agreement.

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Episode Notes

Jenn and Todd Brandel have a close, loving relationship with their father, Bruce. But one thing makes their blood boil: his political chain emails. The messages are often forwarded commentary written in a provocative tone, and are an unwelcome reminder of just how far apart the family is politically. On this episode of How To!, we’re joined by Mónica Guzmán, senior fellow for public practice at Braver Angels and author of I Never Thought Of It That Way: How To Have Fearlessly Curious Conversations in Dangerously Divided Times. In the first of a special two-part episode on talking politics with our parents, Mónica teaches Jenn and Todd how to aim for understanding with their dad, not agreement. Next week, Jenn, Todd, and their dad Bruce will put these tips into practice—on mic—around the kitchen table, as Mónica provides post-game analysis. We’ll dive into what worked, what got a little messy, and how to keep making progress.

If you liked this episode, check out: “How To Embrace Your Anti-Vax Family This Holiday Season” and “How To Talk Politics Without Wrecking Relationships.”

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Podcast production by Derek John, Rosemary Belson, and Kevin Bendis.

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What if Dear Abby were an investigative reporter? Each week, Amanda Ripley (bestselling author of High Conflict: Why We Get Trapped and How We Get Out) 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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