How to keep friends you disagree with during the election


ROANOKE, Va. (WSET) -- We're just a little over a week away from the election. But, come November 9, what's going to happen with the people who used to be your friends before this bitter election?

Researchers at Virginia Tech have found a way to make people friends instead of frenemies.

It happens everyday. You open up Facebook to another argument about the latest things happening in the election.

But, instead of getting mad or losing a friend, there's ways to still get along.

"It's difficult to deliberate, to engage in deliberation with one another in otherwise, the process of seeking consensus if we can't have dialogue, if we can't even speak to one another," said Virginia Tech Assistant Professor, Dr. Todd Schenk.

So, Schenk came up with a plan.

"We brought together a small group of students and a couple of faculty here at Virginia Tech with really different values on the issue of immigration," he said.

Juan De La Rosa Diaz is a DREAMER and an undocumented immigrant from Mexico, who has been in Virginia since he was five.

He went up against a Trump supporter. "He was actually the first Trump supporter I'd actually seen in person," he said.

The two sat across a table from each other, taking on the role of the other person.

And after the exercise, an understanding. "In the same way that undocumented folks feel disenfranchised, there are people in this country that are American citizens that feel disenfranchised, and the way that that manifests itself is in anti-immigrant rhetoric," Diaz said.

The two will probably never agree, but they can empathize.

And Schenk said everybody can do this, even without the controlled environment.

"Turn away from your typical networks on social media and so-on and maybe have a coffee with somebody who's very different than you. Maybe a family member that defriended you in the election season or that you defriended during the election season," Schenk said.

Schenk said empathy will keep friends who disagree from splitting during the election.

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