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Politics

The 5 Directives of Friendly Debate

Disagreement can enhance a friendship if you handle it the right way.

Debate doesn’t have to get personal.

Facebook has had me shaking my head the last few weeks. Silently witnessing discord between “friends” with words driving wedges between them. Social media has that unique ability to make people feel protected while being exposed. Much like an outraged driver who’s inside his car yet completely visible. ¬†Some contributors forget that the internet is not a cloak but a spotlight.

During the Republican and Democratic National Conventions, Facebook reminded me of a hurricane. While hurricane Isaac was threatening the RNC, another storm was brewing on Facebook. The more comments and “likes” on brutal political commentary, the more the storm gained momentum. Like fanning a fire, posts turned to vicious personal attacks. Not toward their enemies. This was friendly fire.

I believe debate can be constructive, beneficial and enjoyable. Especially amongst friends. Disagreement can stimulate ideas, widen your horizons, and help solidify strong relationships.

An evening out with another couple where conversation goes beyond “Who won the soccer game?” to “What do you think about a flat tax?” creates an engaging discussion that enriches friendship.

We don’t compromise our values by respecting others’ views.¬† As long as we follow these directives. Read more