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Performer Mayyadda singing at the University of Minnesota Juneteenth Celebration “We Are The Noise: The Echoes of Our Ancestors” captured on Saturday, June 15.
Best photos of June '24
Published June 23, 2024

Ask Amber: My friend hates political talk

Why is my friend against voting?
Ask+Amber%3A+My+friend+hates+political+talk
Image by Bryce Eckman

Amber,

With it being election season right now, my life seems to revolve around politics. Inevitably, the overturning of Roe v. Wade found its way into the conversations between me and my friends. A few weeks ago, I brought up the Nov. 8 election to them, and everyone was very upfront about the fact that they would be voting.

One of my friends, though, immediately shut down at the idea and snapped at me for bringing up politics when we were originally just supposed to be hanging out for dinner. She said that voting was stupid and that she already gets enough political nonsense from her family and the news.

I do understand some of where she is coming from. Election seasons are very stressful and overwhelming, and even I sometimes would like to step away from it for a while. However, this election [was] very important, and I just don’t understand how she can be so upset about voting.

I want to talk to her more about it because I think voting is very important, but I’m afraid of bringing up something that will just make her angry again.

How can I convince my friend that voting is important?

Thanks,
Ballot Blues

 

Dear Ballot Blues,

Politics are almost always a sticky kind of situation to talk about with people. You’re right about voting being important, and I appreciate that you are looking out for your friend in this way.

I think this issue is something a lot of people can relate to. Election season can very easily take a lot out of people. It seems like you are trying to create that kind of politics-life balance that is important for coping with these stressful issues, which is wonderful to hear.

Honestly, I don’t have a concrete answer. Some people can get defensive about politics, and people that get angry or defensive about these kinds of things can be difficult to talk to, let alone convince otherwise.

The best advice I can give you is to try to talk to your friend anyway. Ask her to give you her perspective on the issue so that you can maybe figure out why she feels this way about voting. Maybe the issue isn’t even voting at all — she could just be overwhelmed in general, and election season was the straw that broke the camel’s back. But, you’ll never know unless you talk to her.

If she does get defensive again, don’t blame yourself for trying. If worse comes to worst, there might be nothing better to do than stop talking to her altogether. Some people refuse to have an open mind about differing political views, and to me, that’s a sign you shouldn’t be engaging with them at all.

Best of luck,
Amber

Are you in desperate need of advice? Amber can help! Email advice requests to [email protected].

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