Photo by Shelly Waldman

Photo by Shelly Waldman

Lately, it’s been hard for me to think about anything but news and current events. There are so many things happening in this country and the world that are keeping me up at night, and I’m realizing more and more that what’s needed is honest, open communication, respect and understanding, especially between people who don’t necessarily share your point of view.  I realized this when I found myself wondering how communicate with someone whose political opinions are vastly different than mine. Should I write an email? Should I be silent?

I wrote a post on my personal Facebook page asking for advice, and the responses that poured in were amazing, uplifting and inspiring—so much so that I wanted to share them with you this week. This advice comes from people of all different lifestyles, nationalities and religions, and in sharing it with you, I hope to brighten your outlook and share some perspective about how to communicate with grace and style—especially during a time when finding common ground is hard and we often feel like we’re alone. But if there’s one thing I’m taking away from the brilliant replies on my Facebook post, it’s that we have to get up every morning and defy the fear.

So, without further ado, here are 10 fantastic communication tips for starting a dialogue with kindness and compassion.

  1. If you’re genuinely curious, ask.
  2. Seek to understand the other person’s point of view.
  3. Invite people to the table with compassion, love and patience—with no expectations.
  4. Use kind language like, “I genuinely want to know your thoughts” and “I want to share.”
  5. Ask permission to have a dialogue.
  6. Communicate face to face, instead of over text, email or Facebook.
  7. Know that you’re probably not going to change the other person’s mind.
  8. Don’t force your opinion on the other person.
  9. Come from a place of curiosity.
  10. Be yourself. Don’t tolerate hate, live by example and be an inspiration to others.

Do you have any tips to add to the list? Please leave a comment and share if so. I’d love to hear them.