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I Never Thought of It That Way

How to Have Fearlessly Curious Conversations in Dangerously Divided Times

Mónica Guzmán


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When you think you have the answers, you need to be asking a lot more questions—and embracing fearless curiosity.

Partisanship is up, trust is down, and we’re hanging with friends and social media feeds that make us sure we’re right and everyone else is ignorant (or worse). It can feel impossible to understand one another . . . but it is more important than ever.
The solution? A new framework to reclaim our humility, channel conflict, and reach understanding far beyond our own perspective.
In a fearful and polarized environment, we have a choice: We could let our minds and worlds shrink as we settle into certainty. Or, we can start asking questions. But does it make sense to stay curious about other people’s perspectives when the wrong question can blow up in your face, ruin a relationship, or make people think you’re the weird one?
The best insights live where one fearless mind meets another—where two people share the goal of better understanding each other rather than being “right” or “wrong.” In this timely, personal guide, journalist Mónica Guzmán shows why curiosity is our best policy and how you can put it to work for you immediately, sharing practical tips from the trenches of the social, political, and cultural divides. 
You’ll learn: 
   How to ask what you really want to know (even if you’re afraid to)
   How to grow smarter from even the most tense interactions, online or off
   How to cross boundaries and find common ground—with anyone
Guzmán’s approach will help you to have adventurous and downright human conversations with the people in your life who have the most to show you: those whose identities, values, and experiences make them see the world in an entirely different and fascinating way. Along the way, you’ll learn that life is best lived with an open mind, and that the world around you is a much nicer place when you’re always ready to say, “I never thought of it that way!”
We think we have the answers. But Guzmán shows that we need to be asking a lot more questions.

BenBella Books, 9781637740323, 304pp.

Publication Date: March 8, 2022

About the Author

Mónica Guzmán is a journalist and entrepreneur who lives for good conversation sparked by challenging questions. She’s the cofounder of The Evergrey, an award-winning newsletter and community in Seattle, and serves as an adviser to Braver Angels, a national organization out to depolarize America, and Together Washington, an organization building collaborative local relationships among leaders in Washington state. Mónica is a former columnist at The Seattle Times, GeekWire, and the Columbia Journalism Review. She studied social and political division as a 2019 Henry M. Jackson leadership fellow, and spent the 2015-2016 academic year studying how journalists can evolve to better meet the needs of a participatory public as a Nieman Fellow at Harvard. She is an immigrant, a Latina, a dual US-Mexico citizen, and the mom of two bilingual kids.