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Tips for Starting a Conversation

Where do I begin?

Sometimes, starting a conversation can be the biggest hurdle to having one. Here are four ways to do it.

Start it yourself

Make a neutral comment about an issue, for instance: “There have been so many changes made to abortion laws recently, it’s hard to keep track.” Wait for the other person to respond with their view.

Ask a question

Start with a neutral question like, “Have you been following the court’s most recent decision about abortion?”

When they go first

Acknowledge what the person said and respond with some version of “I hear you on….” or “I get that this is important to you.” Genuinely listen to them. When people feel heard, they are less likely to respond negatively.

Find common ground

Start by acknowledging something you both agree on, for instance “We’re both scared our kids could get pregnant too early.” Finding common ground softens people for challenging conversations.