Many of you probably have family, friends and colleagues who voted to leave. Here is some useful advice on how to debate this emotive topic, and hopefully change their minds.
The above tips come from someone with a background in mediation and psychotherapy.
I. Identify hardcore from soft. The hardcore Brexit fanatics have had this madness brewing for years, and are as immune to persuasion as Scientologists, so don’t waste your time.
II. Have all your facts ready. Don’t rely on remembering something you vaguely recall reading somewhere. Choose facts that might be relevant to them.
III. Don’t engage with their emotional self. At all times stay clear and calm and rational. DON’T BE PROVOKED!
IV. Don’t confront them, or accuse them of making the wrong choice. If people feel backed into a corner they will freeze, mentally.
V. Don’t demean them or suggest that they are stupid for making that choice. If anything, flatter them for having thought about it.
VI. Ask questions and allow time for them to think.
A. What did you hope for Britain, once it left? (note past tense);
B. What do you worry could be worse than it was before, if it goes wrong? (note assumption);
C. What are the first signs you would expect to see if it was going wrong?;
D. What would be your worse case scenario?
VII. Reinforce doubt by repeatedly asking versions of: And what would that mean for you, for your family, kids?
VIII. Sow doubt about their (dubious) sources of information (again, have relevant facts ready. eg. The Mail’s support for blackshirts and Hitler).
IX. Ask what would change their mind.
X. Finish by saying that you hope that maybe they might just do that, once they see “what is over the edge”.