Want to reduce bigotry? Talk to People.

In 2016, researchers stumbled on a radical tactic for reducing another person’s bigotry: a frank, brief conversation.

The website Vox wrote an article about this research here: https://www.vox.com/identities/2016/11/15/13595508/racism-research-study-trump

The technique that apparently works – is to ask people to put themselves in the shoes of the other person. That’s it.

I write and speak a lot about the power of compassion. It’s something we should give to people and model for people. In this case, asking people to put themselves in another’s shoe – helps them humanize that person as real and helps them feel compassion for them and this compassion – helps them change not just how they think, but how they act.

It is very easy to think of bullies as ogres. Horrible people not worth your time and effort. But that is a) not a realistic way to think of any human being and b) it just adds to the negativity of the world.

Instead, think about responding with dignity and compassion and – instead of arguing with someone to win, start asking them some questions.

I actually teach a course on the art of socratic jujitsu. This is just another example of compassion based approaches being validated by science.