If you’re looking for a way to tell if you’re speaking with a conservative or a leftist, here’s an easy exercise.

Disagree with them.

It doesn’t have to be about anything political. In fact, it’s a better exercise if you don’t. Disagree with them on what they want to do today, or tell them you don’t like a food they really like… or a movie. It could be anything. Just take a stand and disagree with them on something they say.

If the person’s a conservative, they’ll want to hear what you have to say. They’ll be interested in your point of view. If they agree, or find you compelling, they’ll stop and think and may even adjust their worldview on the topic. If they disagree, they’ll take on the argument and try to convince you they’re right. They’ll introduce facts and logic to win you over.

But if the person’s a liberal, they’ll shut you down right away. They’ll get annoyed, or even angry, and start putting down your point of view or even calling you names. You won’t get reasons to support their point of view. You won’t get respect for thinking what you think. You’ll just get irrational, reactionary resistance.

Don’t believe me? Give it a try.