How can I encourage someone to think more critically without coming off condescending?
My SO believes in a number of conspiracy theories that don't exactly pass critical evaluation. She's done a lot of reading on the subjects and is really enthusiastic about it.
I feel like a total buzzkill, though, whenever we discuss any of it. I can't get into a lot of it because of my skeptical nature, and I feel like I'm almost cross-examining her. ("According to who?", "If they don't know what's in it, how can they claim to know the motivations?", "Why hasn't the scientific community caught on to this?", etc.)
We were talking about chem trails
one day, and she asked me point-blank if I thought it was all bullshit. I nodded, and it pretty much left a palpable stink in the air that lasted the rest of our day together.
I'd love to connect with her on everything, but I can't seem to submit on this. Ideally, I could persuade her to be a little more discriminating and critical with information, but I don't want to come off as condescending.
My strategy so far has been to listen first and foremost, then ask questions. But that has only gotten me so far before she gets frustrated with me and the subject changes.
I feel it's a pretty big part of her worldview, and my lack of acceptance puts a schism between us. Conversely, what I feel is her inability to think critically.
How can we reach middle ground?