Published with permission

By Bryan Hyde

If you’ve ever struggled to have a conversation with someone who sees the world very differently than you do, it can be awkward, to say the least.


Here’s an idea to help facilitate an honest conversation that’s far less likely to devolve into debating or ideological flexing.

Don’t try to change the other person’s mind.

For most of us, this is something that requires a bit of practice because we’ve established a habit of automatically formulating our rebuttal instead of listening to what the other person is saying.

When we take the option of trying to change the other person’s mind off the table, it’s much easier to pay attention to what they’re trying to say. It also greatly reduces our temptation to apply labels that can blind us to essential details about them.

We sometimes forget the importance of nuance when we’re trying to pigeonhole one another so we don’t have to try to understand.

If we’re sincere about wanting to understand where the other person is coming from, we should  be willing to ask questions that provide genuine insight into why they think the way they do.

Man dressed as a priest angrily preaching holding the bible in his hand

This means resisting the urge to deliver a sermon in the form of a question or to ask “gotcha” type questions.

Instead, try asking them what they’ve experienced that shaped how they see the world.

The goal here is comprehending one another without trying to change each other’s minds. You’ll both come away with your principles intact and with authentic understanding.

* Hyde In Plain Sight is written by KDXU personality Bryan Hyde. Catch his daily HIPS vignette at 7:50-ish every weekday morning on KDXU and listen to The Bryan Hyde Show weekends at 7 p.m. Saturday and 6 p.m. Sunday nights.

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