This Christmas, deliver a card to someone you’ve never spoken to before. If you feel like giving them a knock, take the opportunity to ask some questions and get to know your neighbours. And let us know how you get on!
Download and print our HOPE not hate Christmas card here (or make your own!)
Take it round to a neighbour you've not spoken to before – have a conversation or post the card through their door.
Let us know how you got on!
Our Tips for Christmas Conversations
Start with the basics
"Hi, my name is ______, I live at number ______."
"I’m taking part in a Christmas Challenge to give a Christmas card to someone I don’t know on this street. What’s your name? How long have you lived here?"
Listen and Question
Empathetic listening is putting yourself in someone else’s shoes, and seeking to genuinely understand their position. Often we don’t really listen, we just wait for our turn to speak.
When you take the time to listen - even if only for 30 seconds - it can defuse tension, and create the space for a better conversation.
Ask open and clarifying questions: What do you mean when you say that? Can you clarify?
Don’t rely on facts alone
Our brains tend to seek out facts that confirm what we already believe. This is known as confirmation bias, and it is the same for all of us. Facts should be used mindfully. If used in the wrong way it can come across as “I know more than you”.
Keep it short and sweet, don’t talk too much
This is of course up to you.
Admit when you’re not sure of something
Often when we are challenged on something we’re not entirely sure about, our immediate reaction is defensiveness or embarrassment. We feel we have committed to a position, and so to admit we’re not sure feels like defeat.
But if we’re expecting others to reflect on their own positions, we should be willing to do the same. We are never likely to have all the answers. If we are prepared to admit when we’re not sure of something, then we are more likely to win the respect and trust of others, and they’re more likely to listen.