Heard on CultureShift

The Election Is Over, But There Are Still Tough Conversations Ahead. How Do We Talk About It?

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How do we talk politics with someone in our family who doesn’t agree with us without it turning into an argument? Dr. David Campt is a specialist on the topic and advocates for curiosity in conversation to ease the tension.

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Is there a better way to have difficult conversations about big topics like politics, elections and who voted which way?

You want to get empathy but at least start out with curiosity.” — Dr. David Campt on the art of the tough conversation

Dr. David Campt is the author of "Compassion Transforms Contempt: A Black Dialogue Expert’s Advice for White Progressives on Down-Revving Anger, Creating Connections...and Maybe Changing the World," which was released earlier this year.Courtesy of Dr. David Campt
Courtesy of Dr. David Campt

Dr. David Campt is the author of “Compassion Transforms Contempt: A Black Dialogue Expert’s Advice for White Progressives on Down-Revving Anger, Creating Connections…and Maybe Changing the World,” which was released earlier this year.

That’s the focus of Dr. David Campt, a Detroit native who has become nationally known for helping people talk about difficult things through lectures and several books he’s written on the topic. Dr. Campt also launched the VOICE project in hopes of teaching people better ways to talk about politics.

Over the past ten years, things have become more divided,” says Dr. Campt. “We feel more and more like the fate of the nation is on the line. We’re starting to sense that we have different views of that and it becomes harder and harder to resolve that.”

During an interview on CultureShift on 101.9 WDET, Dr. Campt says that curiosity rather than accusatory questions to a friend or family member can help a conversation stay cordial instead of becoming a hostile exchange.

What’s critical to manage that is to learn more about why they think what they think as opposed to just what they think,” says Dr. Campt. “We want to shift our focus to what happened to people and what are their experiences that drive their beliefs. It creates a whole different kind of encounter.”

Click the audio player with the hear the full conversation with Dr. David Campt about how to have conversations about difficult topics with the people you love: 

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Ryan Patrick Hooper, Host, CultureShift

Ryan Patrick Hooper is the award-winning host and producer of CultureShift on 101.9 WDET-FM Detroit’s NPR station. As a longtime arts and culture reporter and photographer, Hooper has covered stories for NPR, Detroit Free Press, Hour Detroit, SPIN and Paste magazine.

hooper@wdet.org Follow @HooperRadio

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