Ik groeide op in de Westboro Baptist Church. Hierom ging ik weg
Hoe is het om op te groeien in een groep mensen die gloriëren in het demoniseren... van alle anderen? Megan Phelps-Roper vertelt details over het leven in de meest controversiële kerk van Amerika en beschrijft hoe conversaties op Twitter de sleutel waren om eruit te stappen. In deze buitengewone talk vertelt ze over haar persoonlijke ervaring met extreme polarisatie, samen met enkele duidelijke manieren om met succes over de ideologische scheidingslijnen heen met elkaar te kunnen communiceren.
Be deliberate about cultivating empathy for "enemies." Before getting into a conversation full of intense disagreement, you can lay the groundwork for success by making deliberate efforts to understand the perspective of groups with ideas you oppose. Whether Republicans or Democrats, city-dwellers or rural farmers, consider the groups you tend to write off. Who are they? Given their experiences, can you understand why they hold the positions they do? What ideas do you share? When you're intentional about searching for understanding and common ground, you’ll be better at engaging people with opposing ideas on the merits — instead of the mental caricatures humans often form of one another.
Practice engaging when the stakes are low. Remember that the strategies mentioned in this talk aren't natural; they're skills we have to learn and develop in ourselves. Disagreements are common, but the more intense the disagreement, the harder it is to remain calm enough to engage effectively. To practice, be on the lookout for low-stakes disagreements that appear in your life. Answering an angry tweet from a stranger requires less time and emotional energy than staying cool in a long conversation with a close friend about a divisive subject. Reaching out when the stakes are low strengthens our ability to engage when stress levels and potential costs are higher.