It may not seem like it at times, but those people you know who support “the other party” probably aren’t as evil as you think. As we deepen our relationships with only other people that hold similar to views to us, it creates a generally unhealthy “siloing” and we tend to dig in deeper against the other side.
As shared in her book “I Never Thought Of It That Way“, author Mónica Guzmán put it this way:
Siloing goes too far when the stories we tell about each other are not only wrong but demeaning. When we spend so much time in spaces that intensify our basest judgments that we believe the other side is barely human at all.
Fortunately, she also shared ways that we can work to prevent this from happening. Simply spending time around those that you disagree with will help reduce the prejudice that you feel for them. You won’t necessarily agree with them, but simply understanding their viewpoint can be incredibly powerful. Again, from her book:
Research keeps showing us that the more you mingle with people in your “otherized” out-groups, the less prejudice you’ll feel against them. In fact, a study of 515 other studies found that chatting in person with someone from an out-group cut down prejudice 94 percent of the time.
It goes back to the idea of staying connected to those you disagree with, provided the discourse can remain civil. If it can, understanding can flourish and help keep your relationships strong even if you never end up agreeing on your political views.