This month's HOT topic: Righteousness and relationships

The art of civil discourse means no soapboxes here!

Ever sit on a couch in someone’s living room, trying to make conversation? Or listen to someone get on a soapbox and dominate the conversation by expressing their opinion with such fervor that no one else dares speak, let alone contradict?

When we have authentic, respectful conversations we strengthen our relationships and advance our understanding of the challenges, opportunities and solutions before us.

Living Room Conversations begin with two people of differing perspectives. Each person invites two more friends for a total of six participants. The idea is to assemble a group of people with diverse outlooks to have a rich, meaningful conversation. If you are interested in these conversations but don't know many people with contrasting opinions, our friends at Hi From the Other Side will set you up with someone from across the aisle to help us all understand each other better. The LRC approach lets you have a conversation that actually gets somewhere. 

Living Room Conversations has more than 50 ready-to-discuss topics (or your can build your own). Our conversation ground rules and format ensure everyone gets a change to speak.

You need not study up on all of the supporting evidence surrounding your topic because living room conversations are not debates. Rather, they are conversations intended to enhance understanding. You and your friends may change your minds on a topic, or you might not. Either way, these conversations will allow you to better understand the topic you chose.

Living room conversations can transform distrust and discord into understanding — paving the way for collaborative solutions. When we have authentic, respectful conversations we strengthen our relationships and advance our understanding of the challenges, opportunities and solutions before us.

Featured Articles

Feb 22, 2017, by Sarah Berg

Climate one event

By Sarah Berg. Reprinted from Huffington Post.

We are living in a cultural moment in which this basic thing about what it means to be human—face-to-face conversations—feels like a fading art. And it feels urgent to recover it.

As President Obama said in his farewell speech in January, “If you’re tired of arguing with strangers on the Internet, try talking with...

Feb 15, 2017, by Shelly Jenson

Those people are us

By Shelly Jenson. Reprinted from Huffington Post.

I am fairly new to the dialogue world. It was a mere two years ago that I attended my first dialogue event and it was so profoundly different from anything I had ever experienced that I simply had to learn more. As I have become more involved with the dialogue community, I’ve found that my deepest passion is...

Feb 09, 2017, by Ralph Benko

The political is now personal

By Ralph Benko. Reprinted from Huffington Post.

Eugène Delacroix, Liberty Leading the People

The Rasmussen polling company recently issued a bulletin headlined “A lot of Americans have hard feelings after last November’s presidential election.” This is not a surprise but it is good to have it quantified: 

“A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone...

Feb 06, 2017, by Mary Gaylord

Don’t take the hate bait

By Mary Gaylord. Reprinted from Huffington Post.


We do it constantly, almost without thinking, hook, line, and sinker. The Free Dictionary defines this idiom as follows: “to be tricked into believing something without any doubts.” 

We take the hate bait. And then we share the hate bait — we tweet it, post it, talk about it.


View all articles

Showing 12 reactions

  • posted about this on Facebook 2017-02-13 12:20:37 -0800
    inspired by Arlie Hochschild's lecture yesterday. Sociologist and author of 'Strangers in their own land' - reflections from embedding in a 'red state' to just listen and learn. Brilliant!
  • posted about this on Facebook 2017-02-11 22:44:46 -0800
    Hey, anyone interested in joining discussion around hot topics?
  • posted about this on Facebook 2017-02-03 16:13:30 -0800
  • posted about this on Facebook 2017-01-10 12:57:42 -0800
    I love this! Helping us make a path to one another. I want to understand the other side & love better.
  • posted about this on Facebook 2016-12-31 14:08:50 -0800
    I'm looking into starting a chapter of Living Room Conversations in San Francisco.
  • posted about this on Facebook 2016-12-09 15:12:59 -0800
    HomeI just joined Living Room Conversations and hope to host one soon. Check it out!
  • @gdlittledorf tweeted link to this page. 2016-11-29 18:39:47 -0800
  • posted about this on Facebook 2016-11-21 20:44:35 -0800
  • @ProfOj67 tweeted link to this page. 2016-11-21 20:44:33 -0800
  • posted about this on Facebook 2016-11-20 12:11:02 -0800
    Is this one of the simplest ways forward? What other post-election activities are you giving your time and attention to?
  • posted about this on Facebook 2016-11-12 20:36:11 -0800
  • @jschamberlain1 tweeted link to this page. 2016-11-12 20:36:08 -0800

Living Room Conversations is a non-profit organization founded in 2010 as a result of a transpartisan partnership focused on revitalizing civil discourse through conversation. Living Room Conversations offers an open-source format to facilitate structured conversations among people of differing views and backgrounds. Through these conversations we hope to increase understanding of various issues, build relationships, and pave the way for collaborative and inclusive problem-solving.