I Think You're Wrong (But I'm Listening): A Guide to Grace-Filled Political Conversations

I Think You're Wrong (But I'm Listening): A Guide to Grace-Filled Political Conversations

by Sarah Stewart Holland, Beth A. Silvers


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Two friends on opposite sides of the aisle provide a practical guide to grace-filled political conversation while challenging readers to put relationship before policy and understanding before argument.

More than ever, politics seems driven by conflict and anger. People sitting together in pews every Sunday have started to feel like strangers, loved ones at the dinner table like enemies. Sarah Stewart Holland and Beth Silvers say there is a better way.

As working moms on opposite ends of the political spectrum and hosts of a fast-growing politics podcast, Holland and Silvers have learned how to practice engaging conversation while disagreeing. In I Think You're Wrong (But I'm Listening), they share principles on how to give grace and be vulnerable when discussing issues that affect families, churches, the country, and the world. They provide practical tools to move past frustration and into productive dialogue, emphasizing that faith should inform the way people engage more than it does the outcome of that engagement. This urgently needed new book reveals how to talk about politics in a way that inspires rather than angers and that pays spiritual dividends far past election day.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781400208449
Publisher: Nelson, Thomas, Inc.
Publication date: 02/04/2020
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 224
Sales rank: 162,680
Product dimensions: 8.20(w) x 5.40(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

Sarah Stewart Holland is the cohost of Pantsuit Politics. Ten years ago, she left her life as a Capitol Hill staffer behind to move back to her hometown of Paducah, Kentucky, to raise a family. In 2016, she went back to politics in a big way when she knocked on 5,523 doors to win election to the Paducah City Commission, where she served a single term.

Beth Silvers (from the right) is a business coach, speaker, and yoga teacher. After law school, Beth joined a prestigious Cincinnati-based law firm, where she worked in business restructuring during the worst financial crisis of our generation and eventually became an HR executive. Beth now helps businesses and individuals realize their potential. She is a graduate of Leadership Northern Kentucky and has been named an HR GameChanger by Workforce Magazine and one of Cincinnati's Forty Under 40. She lives with her husband and two daughters in Union, Kentucky.

Table of Contents

Introduction xi

Part 1 Start with You

Chapter 1 We Should Talk Politics 1

Chapter 2 Take Off Your Jersey 20

Chapter 3 Find Your Why 49

Chapter 4 Put Politics in Its Place 71

Part 2 Turn Your Eyes Outward

Chapter 5 Give Grace 89

Chapter 8 Get Curious 103

Chapter 7 Embrace the Paradox 116

Chapter 8 Get Comfortable with Being Uncomfortable 132

Chapter 9 Exit the Echo Chamber 158

Chapter 10 Keep It Nuanced 174

Acknowledgments 189

About the Authors 193

Notes 195

Customer Reviews

I Think You're Wrong (But I'm Listening): A Guide to Grace-Filled Political Conversations 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
emmamhawes More than 1 year ago
Pantsuit Politics is the closest thing we have to “Profiles in Courage” by JFK from an unbiased and historical standpoint, but only in a podcast form. However, this book is a manual as to how to practice thought-based politics and stories of Sarah and Beth’s experiences. My reaction to “Profiles in Courage,” definitely falls into the category or lesson of chapter 2 of learning to take off my jersey. That chapter is the introduction of how to see across the other aisle. In that chapter, they go over the history of the welfare system, which was very insightful. I would recommend this for anyone. This includes a high school government class, young adults, and your elected officials.
Faeries517 8 months ago
We have increasingly become more divided than ever based on political parties and are adamant about designating everyone with a label. Thoughts, ideas, and policies should be based on more than an "us vs. them" mentality. "Our driving force shouldn’t be ensuring that a particular party controls a particular wing of government. Our driving force should be the values that are most important to us in living in community with other people." "Politicians shouldn’t determine our positions and values. Our values should determine the policies and politicians we support." This is a well-written and thought-provoking book. Everyone could benefit from reading it. The whole dialogue about taking off our political jerseys in order to eliminate division and actually make an impact on today's problems is dead-on. Discussing real issues in a way that can make a real difference. The power behind kind and thoughtful conversations. I appreciate being given a free copy by Nelson Books in exchange for an honest review.
Emma Manoils More than 1 year ago
This little book took me a solid two weeks to read, mainly because it made me think and examine my interactions in regards to politics. . The truth is that I'm tired. I'm tired of the extremes found on both sides of the aisle. I'm tired of the villainizing of those with whom you don't agree. I'm tired of feeling like one of the few who tries to look at things from different angles. I'm tired of people not being able to see past a party label to really see who they are sending to represent them. I'm tired of those elected officials acting like children fighting over toys. I'm exhausted and disillusioned. . This book gives me some hope. ' ' @pantsuitpolitics! . It's time we all start having constructive, caring conversations and this is a good start to understand how we can go about doing that. . If you're willing to have a real, grace-filled conversation where you too are open to examining your ideas, then I'm game.
JSchans More than 1 year ago
Possibly the most important conversations we should be having as a society right now- the ones that extend across the aisle. It is not a perfect book with all the answers, but is a place to start in these increasingly scary times. This book provides a fresh perspective and new ideas about how to work with people whose values are very different from yours, but at the end of the day are all still Americans just like you and me. It encourages prioritizing relationships over party lines and finding nuance where the media and two party system reduce incredibly complicated issues to black-and-white divisive talking points. I found myself highlighting and underlining constantly- so many wonderful and practical tips to help build bridges. As a non-Christian, I chose not to complete the exercises at the end of each chapter. My one complaint would be that I wish those parts of the books were more inclusive for non-Christians but I understand that religious beliefs are an important part of the authors' identity and a choice they made. Obviously I still really enjoyed it and have recommended it to many people!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I’m so glad this book exists. It’s such a grace-filled, helpful, balanced, and convicting guide to how to handle these heated and intense political days. Coming from different parties, Sarah and Beth cover the spectrum of thought while giving such wise counsel on how to really unpack our thoughts and beliefs to form clear and researched opinions and then share, debate, and act in ways that are loving, humane, and constructive. I loved the faith angle too, although it wasn’t so overwhelming that those without a Christian background couldn’t also relate. I especially loved the applicable questions at the end of each chapter to help you work through things on your own and find a more comprehensive and grounded position politically and personally. Major praise for this one!
EmilyBoyMom More than 1 year ago
Political discussions these days aren't usually ones that are peppered with grace and patience. But they should be. We ought to be able to discuss political issues with those around us without fear of arguments, and this practical book helps the reader understand how best to proceed in dicey waters. Sarah and Beth are the hosts of Pantsuit Politics Podcast. One is a Democrat, one a Republican. As you read the book, you are aware that there are many questions and issues at hand that do not have an easy black and white answer. The nuances of perspective and life experience of course color our views of politicized issues. How can we get back to being able to 'agree to disagree' while still being civil to each other? Each chapter of the book offers conversational points and questions at the end, allowing the reader to look at the topics discussed in that chapter a little more closely. Obviously this is not a book that you can read and expect to hand you answers. These are merely suggestions from two women who care deeply about the disconnect and fear the current political climate creates. Since every person has their own defining points in life, we should take the time to sit across the table from those we disagree with and find commonality. We must not be afraid to speak up when politics are discussed and instead, feel confident enough in our own convictions to allow others to express theirs alongside our own. We might not bridge all the gaps, but we sure can learn more about the human being "across the aisle" from us. I was part of an early reader group and was able to read a PDF of the book. I truly think this is one I will have to purchase as a hard copy so that I can highlight and notate the most helpful parts for me. All opinions are my own and I was not required to leave a positive review. I am appreciative for the opportunity to read early. We can do better, and we should. The person who you see across the table from you is still a human, no matter if they agree with you or not. I hope that books like this continue to challenge and inspire us to self reflect.
Maggie_Penton More than 1 year ago
I would highly recommend this book to anyone, especially a person with a religious background, who feels frustrated by our current political climate. Whether you're tired of facebook conversations that devolve into name calling, dread it when politics comes up at family events, or feel like you need to take a bath after watching 30 minutes of cable news, this book will feel like water in the desert. I've read several "post mortems" from the 2016 election, but nothing really felt like a guide forward. I hear calls from people to "have civil conversations," "compromise," "put country over party," and "see your political opponents as people," all the time, but those calls are so rarely followed up with actionable steps. In I Think You're Wrong (But I'm Listening) Sarah Holland and Beth Silvers open-heartedly discuss both politics and how we talk politics. They show their reader how to turn the temperature down in political conversations, and make a compelling case for *WHY* we need to step into these conversations rather than avoiding them. I'm grateful that they point out that one of the BIG reasons we should engage in these conversations it that they're enjoyable. They also empower their reader to engage in a way that is authentic and meaningful to them. As a person of faith, I am grateful for the way they gently incorporated biblical texts and faith into their book. I have often felt "Bible beaten" by the religious right and feel like Holland and Silvers bring a fresh perspective to what letting our values and faith into our politics *could* look like. They bring a faith-based perspective to politics without leaving their reasoning skills at home. Even if you are not religious, I think that their reimagining of faith in politics is refreshing and a valuable antidote to some of the problematic co-opting of Christianity in our current political battles. If you're looking for a source of hope, inspiration and guidance as we watch candidates hop into a new Presidential election cycle, you have found a wonderful starting point in this book. I cannot recommend this book enough.