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Are we getting tired of the bitter religious, cultural and political rhetoric?


NASHVILLE, Tenn. (OSBORNE)  --  A Lipscomb University conflict resolution expert says he’s seeing signs that Americans are tiring of the constant political, religious and cultural turmoil.

Dr. Steve Joiner directs the Lipscomb Institute for Conflict Management.

Joiner concedes civil discourse is at a real low point just now. He says Americans have, his words, “somehow gotten the idea that the way you get things done is to be louder.”

But Joiner says he’s seeing signs that people are ready for a change in atmosphere.

“I really believe that the really good people of Middle Tennessee are kind of saying, ‘OK, it’s time for us to find better ways to talk to each other.

When Dr. Joiner says talk, he actually means listen. He suggests you ask good questions designed to learn what people believe and why.

“I spend my days around people I disagree with, and I had to teach myself to see that as an opportunity to learn something, not to communicate my opinion.”

Joiner joins the growing chorus of experts who say Social Media are killing civil discourse in America. He says we’re all spending too much time in what he calls “echo chambers,” social media platforms that allow us to interact exclusively with people who think exactly the same way.

He also says the relative anonymity of social media leads people to say things online they would never say face to face.

Here are conflict resolution books and organizations recommended by Dr. Joiner: