Everyone has their own politics. Some opinions are more developed and better informed than others. Some people will inevitably be wrong, and others are right. One thing is common. Most people across the political spectrum believe that they know best and others with different opinions are either stupid and/or ignorant. For that reason, most people are suckers.
With this in mind here are eight reasons why your politics are holding you back.
1. You Will Pigeon Hole Yourself
As soon as you call yourself a Democrat, Republican, Liberal, Labor etc. You pigeon-hole yourself for a lot of people. They will associate you with their stereotypical view of people who belong to that political party.
It is almost guaranteed that if you designate yourself with a political affiliation which is at odds with their own, then they will view you negatively. This is something that you could quite possibly do yourself and maybe it saves you from interacting with people who you think are morons. However, there is absolutely no benefit to you to reveal your political affiliations to someone else and allowing them to preemptively judge you. Its like throwing your cards down on the table at the beginning of a poker game for everyone to see. Let other people reveal themselves to you so you can decide their worth based on your own prejudices, but don’t give them ammunition to do the same to you.
2. You Are More Likely To Be Bigoted
Bigot is a word which is thrown around a lot by people who don’t know it’s meaning. It doesn’t mean someone who is hateful, racist, sexist, homophobic etc. It is actually defined as “a person who is intolerant towards those holding different opinions.” This is incredibly common, and people who are very outspoken about their politics are often the most guilty.
You’re more likely to be able to persuade people if you appear to be neutral. Whether you actually are on the inside or not, is largely irrelevant, so long as you give off the appearance of being open minded. If you think someone is spewing lies, don’t take them head on. Ask them questions that will reveal the truth and their lack of knowledge and watch and enjoy as they sink themselves. You can do things like ask them where they sourced their information or take the role of “Devil’s advocate” and present counter arguments without claiming them as your own.
Do this well and you’ll still be able to show people how stupid their opinions are without antagonizing them. You might not think that their opinions matter or you can do without them, but the truth is, the more people you have in your life who look upon you favorably, the more opportunities you will be given to succeed in life. You should never underestimate the value of social currency.
3. Your Politics Will Not Help You Make Friends
The girl of your dreams may have views which completely oppose your own. However, you might never get a date with her if you scare her away with your politics on the first meeting.
Unless you’re a politician, you don’t need to wear your opinions on your sleeve. Despite the desire most of us have to assume that people who hold different opinions are morons not worth knowing, in the space of your life you will probably change your opinion on many things. Humans are far more transient in our natures than we choose to believe. Some of the people you categorize as “bigots”, “hippies”, “fascists”, “commies”; might actually change your mind for the better. By keeping an open mind, you can actually make a lot of great friends and enrich your intellectual understanding of the world around you.
You don’t need to agree with everyone in your friendship circle, in fact it can make it more interesting if you don’t, so long as you are able to have a discussion without getting overly emotional and aggressive. If you aim to understand and not to persuade, then you will actually become far more persuasive. You can’t change someone’s mind who doesn’t want it to be changed. They wont be open to changing their mind unless they feel like you understand and respect them. If you take the time to understand the real core logic of their reasoning, it is a lot easier to dismantle it.
As you can see from the above graph. Both sides evidently think that the other side are all terrible people. If more than 50% of all people think that the other 50% are all horrible people and around 90% think they are bad people, then that doesn’t bode well for humanity does it? Could almost 90% of us really be that amoral and evil? There is definitely some wisdom in acknowledging that most our prejudices are totally irrational and gratuitous.
4. Some women might not want to date you because of your politics
There are some very hot women out their with some very strong opinions. If their opinions bother you then you might not want to marry them, but you might still want to do other things with them, so why blow it over politics?
I’m not saying you should lie to women you want to date or pretend to be someone you’re not; just don’t get political. Even if a girl wants you to, there is no shame in saying. “I don’t feel like I know enough about that topic to make a decision either way” or something of that variation. Most women with really strong political opinions just want everyone to agree with them. If they can’t have that, people who will just listen to them are the next best thing. In fact in many cases its better because women become suspicious of men who just seem to agree with them on everything.
5. Can get you in trouble with your work
People have been fired, murdered, kidnapped, assaulted, etc. for their politics. It happens all the time, in most countries you probably wont be killed for your opinion, but you can definitely get fired for it. Especially if your boss sits on the other side of the spectrum. If they can’t sack you, then they might not want to promote you. Often in business people will make assumptions about your management style and your decision making ability based on your political views, its not fair but its reality.
If you do not share your political views then they will not be taken into account when your suitability is assessed for a promotion, you are more likely to be judged on merit alone. If you currently share the same political views as your boss and you feel confident in being outspoken about it, be aware that he/she may not be your boss forever. So don’t lock yourself into being viewed as part of the “old way”.
6. You will end up agreeing with things that you don’t understand or necessarily agree with
So many people will align themselves with views that they wouldn’t normally agree with because they agree with the same people on other things.
This leads to people making ill informed decisions and taking positions they can not defend because they’re blindly defending an issue they know nothing about. A good example on this is the separation of Church and State. Often, people who are not at all religious will support religion because they are closely aligned with the values demonstrated by the Party that supports it. You don’t need to lock yourself in like that. Be a free thinker, look at both sides objectively don’t fool for the whole Left vs. Right mentality.
Extremes of both sides are bigoted hypocrites. Don’t take a hard-line stance just for the sake of it.
7. You’re nowhere near as informed as you think you are
True intelligence is not knowing everything, it is knowing that you don’t know everything. Many people like to pretend that they have some insider information on politics because they spend a lot of time watching CNN, Fox, Huffington Post, Breitbart. Don’t be foolish. These media agencies are all owned by private individuals with their own motives. It is incredibly easy for them to manipulate the public towards their way of thinking. All they need to do is exaggerate the facts that support their agenda and omit the facts that don’t. If you think the media is about truth and integrity then you are a sucker.
You don’t know everything, so don’t shut down other people’s opinions that don’t fit into your current narrative. Learn and practice humility, be patient, listen to other people and never assume that you know everything because you watch the news. You will have a much richer life for it.
8. Your opinion doesn’t actually matter
This is perhaps the most important point of all.
Think about all the arguments you have had over politics; you probably won on occassion. But what did you actually win?
Do you really think that those heated arguments over family dinners and on the internet with strangers had an affect on the political process? Some people would argue that even the words of a politician have little affect on who wins an election. There is so much going on behind the scenes, bribes, espionage, propaganda, lobby groups. We live in a modern democracy by name only. The little people do not get to make the big decisions; you might be getting yourself all worked up over politics and losing friends and relationships over nothing. If you press people hard enough you may even be solidifying people in the very opinions that you are trying to change.
If you really are passionate about politics, then plan a political career. Or build your life and wealth to a position where you can actually have some serious influence. Until then, be smart and keep your opinions to yourself!