(A group of stick figures is walking along, all of them with arguing with speech bubbles overlapping one another)
Text Box: Arguing is a favorite pastime in my family, with the winning side usually going to whoever shouts the loudest.
(Stick figure from previous group is holding a child stick figures hand and talking to to the child)
Text Box: This love of arguing clashed with my mother’s one rule for family gatherings, which was:
Parent Stick Figure: Don’t bring up politics.
(Gradient bar. On the left, a girl getting kissed by another girl, waving a rainbow flag. On the right, a group of people looking disapprovingly at the couple to the left.)
Text Box: This is hard for me, because in the gradient of familial politics, I tend to be an outlier on the far left.
Text Box: And in the effort to avoid family drama, the “don’t bring up politics” clause started to include rules on not challenging any family members for being homophobic, or sexist, or argue about any real issues at all.
(A central stick figure is sitting in a group of people, looking disgruntled, with a piece of duct tape over their mouth. Other stick figures talk happily in the background)
Text Box: Which made any reunion with my family feel like this.
Text Box: It started to feel like I was the only one required to adhere to this rule, as other family members were allowed to share whatever views they wanted.
(Narrator is standing next to a large sign that says ‘Tips on Discussing Disagreements with Loved Ones (Including historically accurate scenarios from the narrator’s life reenacted with stick figures!)”
Narrator: And I decided that if the rule didn’t apply to them, it also didn’t apply to me. Here are my tips on discussing disagreements with loved ones (including historically accurate scenarios from the narrator’s life reenacted with stick figures!).
(Don’t panel: Two characters are sitting at a table. One is angrily stating an opinion while the other breaks a glass of wine from gripping it too hard)
Do panel: Two characters are sitting at a table. One is sourcing information from a large book while the other nods along)
Text Box: Be informed! From services offered by planned parenthood to the EPA’s latest updates on global warming, come to the argument armed with facts.
Person 1: (Inside the “don’t panel”) Obviously global warming is happening. It’s hot as hell!
Person 2: (Inside the “don’t panel”) Sure it is…
Person 1: (Inside the “do panel”) The EPA’s shows temperatures rising faster in the past two years than the last ten.
Person 2: (Inside the “do panel”) You don’t say!
(Do panel: Two characters sitting at a table, with one stating multiple facts. Don’t panel: Same two characters sitting at a table, with person two stating an opinion and person two looking exasperated)
Text Box: Try to use more facts than opinions. Opinions are great to have, but facts make your argument stronger and might sway your opponent.
Person 1: (Inside the “do panel”) Grandma, she’s supported same sex marriage and served in Iraq! She’s amazing!
Person 2: (Inside the “don’t panel”) She’s Hispanic and she’ll want to take our jobs!
(Two people sitting at a table. One is angry, standing up and ranting and raving. An arrow saying “Don’t” points to him. The other character is sitting calmly in their chair)
Text Box: Try not to get angry. My brother and I have vastly different opinions on everything and argue constantly. One thing I’ve noticed is that the first person to lose their cool, loses the argument.
Person 1: (Inside the “don’t panel”) Hilary is the devil and I can’t believe you’d vote for her!
Person 2: (Inside the “do panel”) Let’s talk about this when you’re less shouty.
(Two people sitting at a table talking quietly, while a table behind them has two people arguing their lungs out at each other)
Text Box: Listen. Listening is the difference between an argument and a conversation.
Person 1: (Listening table) I hear what you’re saying. I’m not sure if I agree, but I hear you.
Person 2: (Arguing table) Screw you!
Person 3: (Arguing table) Well, screw you, too!
Text Box: These tips are all in the hope that both parties will follow them. If they’re still being disrespectful, I recommend taking a deep breath, going for a walk, and calling a friend. Having different opinion doesn’t mean war. My uncle likes pickles and Trump, and we still manage to be friends.
(This panel is broken up into three, with a text box above and below. The three panels show 1. A glass cup getting crushed in anger 2. A stick figure pointing to another and saying, “I’m not sharing air with that.” 3. A stick figure getting pinned, policeman style, to the table top.)
Text Box: I’m lucky I can fight with my family, though fighting has resulted in a.) Glassware crushed to death in anger b.) My brother getting abandoned after refusing to ride in a car with me and c.) Getting pinned to a table, police man style.
Text Box 2: But despite it all, we’re still able to remain on speaking terms. I know that everyone isn’t as lucky.
(Two characters having a calm conversation over a cup of coffee)
Text Box: If you’re able to duke it out with family members, I leave you with this parting advice: Remember that it’s a lot easier to convince someone using facts and rationality –
(Trump figure standing at a podium yelling)
Text Box: – than yelling and pointing out that everyone else is wrong.
Trump Character: It’s all fake news! All of it! No further questions!