Nothing seems to raise the blood pressure faster than when two people of different opinions broach the issue of vaccine safety. The heart starts thumping a little harder…the face goes red…perhaps you have experienced what I have? At the end of screenings people always come to me with the same question, how do I bring this to my [insert loved one] who doesn’t see eye to eye with me on this issue? Here are a few suggestions for how to initiate a conversation that moves people away from the idea of thinking that vaccine safety is black or white issue.
Make it fun: host a dinner or potluck, and have an informal viewing for that person and a few other friends from your community. Have an inquisitive conversation: (check out our discussion guide for ideas for your discussion).
Think about your language and how you invite someone into the conversation. Are you starting with a I’m right and you’re wrong stand~(I personally get bored when people go all righteous on me, no matter how right they are.) Or are you introducing them to an important issue because you deeply care about them.
For example, you could start a conversation in this way: “You are someone I care deeply about~ so I wanted to share a film with you about vaccine safety. It really opened my eyes to [something I didn’t know, the possibility of vaccine schedules, fast tracking]. I would love to watch this film with you and hear your thoughts on it.
Think about gifting someone a stream: For that person who doesn’t want to sit with you and knows what they know, sometimes just gifting that special someone you care about a link they can watch online at their leisure is an easy solution.
Send a new parent gift box: This is actually a great gift for parents who are about to have a child, and can assist them in their journey.
Listen to their concerns: The best way to get someone to listen to you, is if they know you are listening to them. Make a point of hearing them out and give them all of the time they need to express their viewpoints without interrupting. Fully listening rather than formulating your next thought while half listening (you know we all do it) Then ask for them to do the same for you.
For more tips on how to have a dialogue about this issue, check out our Discussion Guide and see all the tools available to you on our Screening Tools page.