Newsletter: How to set healthy boundaries in conversation

Sometimes, it’s unhelpful — and even harmful — to engage another person. Sometimes, it’s better to just walk away.

In our community, everyone is an expert in something. Not only do we listen to and learn from our members, we encourage members to listen to and learn from each other. Our goal? To create a safe space where members and Discourse journalists can pool their knowledge, explore ideas together, investigate important questions and discuss solutions to the world’s complex problems.

That’s why, in last week’s newsletter, I asked you to help us define the steps for conversation that connects rather than divides. In response, several readers raised an important point about setting healthy boundaries. Their take: Sometimes, it’s unhelpful — and even harmful — to engage another person. Sometimes, it’s better to just walk away. (Check out our Real Talk hub, below, for more.)

Passionate debate is welcome at The Discourse because it signals an engaged, evolving community. But we also have boundaries (a.k.a. Community Guidelines) because productive conversation can only happen in an environment where respect is the rule. Empathy helps, too.

When it comes to conversation, where do you draw the line? Share your experiences with boundary-setting in The Discourse’s Communities channel.

Real talk.

Last week, I asked you to weigh in on a real exchange between two people discussing our video debunking First Nations housing myths. My challenge: If you were at dinner with these people, how would you respond? Or would you respond at all?

The fictionalized conversation above, inspired by tweets from some of our followers, includes direct quotes from Twitter discussions between three different people (click on the images, from left to right, to enlarge them). What’s your take? Head over to the Communities channel to give me your thoughts — I’d love to hear ‘em.[end]

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