How Do You Bridge A Divide?

As our society becomes more polarized, finding common ground can be difficult. For two people bitterly divided, how can they bridge the gap between them?

At times, it can feel like there is more dividing us than there is uniting us. Whether it is politics, religion, gender, age, income, skin color, or any number of other differences, the distance between two people can seem like a chasm.

And yet, there is a need for two people to bridge that distance and talk, no matter how far apart they might be. Doing so might be necessary to build a working relationship at a job. It might mean a harmonious atmosphere at a family dinner table. It may even lead to a political committee with adversaries accomplishing meaningful change.

Of course, finding common ground is easier said than done. What are the elements necessary for two people who disagree, perhaps even strongly, to build a bridge between their two viewpoints? Particularly if the environment they are in encourages or rewards polarization and divisiveness?

How do you bridge a divide between two people who are far apart in several different ways, and have little in common? After all, each one of us may find ourselves in such a situation.

Related questions: How can we encourage meaningful conversation? What is necessary to change your mind? How can you love someone who does something you hate? Why are we so divided?

1 thought on “How Do You Bridge A Divide?”

  1. This question feels like THE question of our society. It’s a huge question.
    I think my best answer is change our culture. American culture leans on individualism, it suggests our ideas are so important, that we are important. It’s what makes arguing our points seem so important.
    If we could shift our culture into jointly finding that common ground, to shifting towards a group mentality, then perhaps we could do better.
    In a recent conversation someone said (an idea I’ve heard before) that they wished an alien invasion would happen so our “us” vs. “them” would be humankind. That we would join together.
    I wish people could see themselves like that now. I wish we could step back and have gratitude that we are here able to argue our points and loving that there are other humans here able to argue for the exact opposite.
    I’m not even good at that.

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