4 Signs Someone is Politically Divisive

Jakub Ferencik
4 min readMar 4

Flawed democracies are not good. We can all agree on that.

Taxpayer money gets lost in bureaucracy. Politicians are difficult to get rid of because of adjustments to the constitution as well as by appointing judges that make the judiciary susceptible to corruption, making that same corruption difficult to eradicate.

The police, executive order, as well as parliament all suffer when a flawed democracy goes unchallenged.

One way to further the aspirations of democracies is to promote conversation and reduce polarization.

So, what is it and what are some signs you are engaging with someone who is polarized? Let’s discuss.

Photo by Siavash Ghanbari on Unsplash

Here are four signs someone is politically divisive. Once we realize these, we can begin to address polarization and hopefully provide a remedy when necessary.

1. They consider everything in tribal terms.

Have you noticed when conversing with some about political, religious, or social issues that they will often invoke the classic “Us vs. Them” thinking?

Well, you are probably engaging with someone who views the world in a polarizing way.

Everything is clear to them. They have easy answers, but they tend to fall into a category — a group. This group limits how they think by ostracizing diversity of thought.

This, of course, happens both on the Left and Right.

We are all familiar with this type of dynamic, so I will move on to the next point.

2. They refuse to listen.

One of the best policies in rhetoric & philosophy is the “principle of charity.” This principle holds that we should always interpret what someone is saying in the best light.

It is often difficult to express what we think clearly.

So, reading in between the lines is necessary.

This is especially true over interview format. People take what we say out loud a little too seriously, in my view. It’s difficult to remember facts clearly. We should be judged by our writing much more than we are by our speech simply because of the difficulty to reason well.

Jakub Ferencik

Author of “Up in the Air” & “Beyond Reason” available on AMAZON | MA McGill Uni | Research assistant for EUROPEUM Prague | 700+ blog posts with 1+ mil. views