The political climate in the U.S. is polarized, and this polarization has made it increasingly difficult for college students on the right to express their political belief without a verbal and in some cases physical attack. Name calling and claims of “group think” can box you into a corner and this why you must remain first, a person and an activist, second. It is one of the few things that can level the playing field in an arena that the left dominates. Here are five ways to humanize yourself in a political argument.

BE AUTHENTIC 

Catchphrases and rehearsed sound bites are not helpful for you or the conservative movement. The conservative movement is based on the individuals thinking for themselves, that the government doesn’t need to be the answer for everything. The importance of a well-informed conservative who is willing to defend the movement is of utmost importance.  You can’t simply copy and paste someone else’s idea.  It’s not effective.  You have to be real and well informed.  30 seconds of your own thoughts are far more impactful than 30 seconds of someone else’s.

DON’T YELL 

Being the loudest person in the room does not make you the smartest.  A calm and civilized demeanor may not draw attention or win the battle, but it may win the war; you never know who is listening and watching.  If you are a conservative, people are waiting for you to fail, and if you are also in college, they are waiting to launch a full-on smear campaign.  Don’t give them any ammunition.

EXPLAIN DON’T PATRONIZE 

No one wants to be talked down to.  Keeping your cool is essential; however, you must also talk to the person as an adult.  Fully explaining your thoughts and connecting the dots helps the listener follow the argument, especially if it is different from their viewpoint.  You have to not only give the big picture but fully explain the benefits and their importance.  Create a conversation about the topic, not an argument.  This allows the listener to fill informed, not attacked or patronized.

FIND COMMON GROUND 

It is often easier said than done, but it is crucial that you find something you can agree on. Find those issues or statements and build on them.  At the end of the day, you both live in the same country, and hopefully, you both will be a contribution to society.  However, you cannot oppose everyone all the time; you must show them that they can relate to you in some way, and who knows this common ground may entice the individual to consider conservative ideas as their own, instead of against them.

NO NAME CALLING 

Regardless of what they are calling you, do not give into the temptation of name calling.  Name calling is one of the most used tactics by the left.  By refraining from name calling, you are rising above their tactics.