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Increase civility in this moment

Many Americans feel silenced, so they are shutting down and refusing to talk about politics.

At the Stubblefield Institute, we believe that we need to talk about politics more, not less.

Increase Civility in this moment

Nine ways to increase civility in this moment.

  1. If you observe that you are engaging in incivility, pause and take a few deep breaths. Step back from the situation.
  2. If you are in an unsafe situation, seek help.
  3. Listen to others. When it is hard to listen, ask yourself questions to help you focus. Engage your curiosity. Ask yourself why the person is speaking or taking a particular action. If you start to interrupt when you think you understand, wait, and ask yourself, “What might I learn by continuing to listen?”
  4. Make notes if you need to, so that you will be able to share your responses later – but focus on listening.
  5. When you have an opportunity, ask questions and continue listening.
  6. Take your time when preparing to share your information, thoughts, and feelings. You don’t have to share everything all at once.
  7. Encourage others to listen and to take turns sharing. Accept that it will be an imperfect process.
  8. Share your thoughts in a civil way. This does not always mean being completely calm. You can speak with enthusiasm. However, behave such that your audience is unlikely to feel threatened by you.
  9. Help yourself and others to choose productive civic engagement activities.

Gardiner Hall

The Shepherd University Counseling Services webpage has information and resources for both campus and community mental health support, wellness promotion, crisis response, and service connection.