Etiquette 101: Talking politics with family, friends & colleagues

Posted at 10:36 AM, Sep 14, 2016
and last updated 2016-09-14 10:36:08-04

For many of us, Election Day will be a welcomed end to the months of negative ads and heated political conversations. 

We are still less than two months away from choosing our next president. If you find yourself party to an awkward debate with friends, family members or colleagues, an etiquette expert has some advice so, you emerge with no collateral damage to your relationship.

Colleen Harding, the owner of Cleveland School of Etiquette & Corporate Protocol, says don't be an interrupter. "Say, hey let's talk about this, let's have a conversation, how do you feel, why do you feel that way, that's interesting and then listen, digest it and then perhaps come back with questions, instead of being in their face."

Harding said don't expect your views to alter theirs, "When was the last time somebody offended you, so you choose to support them, it doesn't happen . . . you come right out and say I'm going to agree to disagree with you and I'm going to walk away because they're not going to change, you're not going to change and nothing good is going to come from both of you having a heated discussion."

Social media can be rough these days so Harding recommends avoid it altogether for the next few weeks. "People that use social media to broadcast their thoughts and their affiliations is rude, I would block them until after the political season . . . it's almost like therapy because they get on there, they type trying to feel better about how they feel but in essence not thinking about who's reading it."