In a perfect world, everyone would all get along and not have any conflict issues. However, we all know this will never happen as it is simply not possible. We all have different opinions, beliefs, and personalities, and at some point, we will encounter someone who will disagree with us.
Most of us have been raised in an environment where disagreeing with another person is considered to be negative if not handled civilly. Therefore, we try to avoid conflict situations as much as possible.
Although conflicts are a part of life, being in a conflict situation is not a nice place to be. It can cause stress and anxiety, and also damage any relationship that has or may have been developed between both parties. Trying to reach an agreement is not always simple either. Given that we all have differences, agreeing is not always easily achieved.
So what can you do in this type of situation? You can disagree respectfully. Here’s how you can do that:
Accept the Differences
There are situations when we get stuck in an endless cycle of arguments and disagreements about the same thing. At some point, we need to acknowledge the fact that we may never reach an agreement with the other person. Once we recognize that we are all different, it is easier to accept the fact that we might never see eye to eye on a particular point.
If you find that accepting differences is hard for you, then you might need to evaluate your reasons why this is, and also evaluate whether you feel the relationship with the other person is worth sacrificing because of the differences.
Stop Being Angry
It can be frustrating when the other person can’t see the validity of your arguments and when they simply won’t even try to listen to you. How they perceive things is out of our hands. Even if we have the best intentions, it might not be perceived as such by the other party.
Instead, let go of your anger and focus your attention on something more positive and productive. This might seem hard to do, but you will have a more rational and objective view of your differences when the anger has abated.
Being a good listener is part of being an effective communicator, which is a great trait to have when in a conflict situation. After all, both parties want to be heard. To be a good listener you have to be open-minded and free from judgment. When the other party airs their side of the argument, give them your full attention and make them feel that they are being heard.
Don’t just listen so you can jump in with your reply. Show that you are interested in hearing what they have to say and that you fully understand where they are coming from.
Do Not Focus On the Process
There may be instances when you and the other party simply cannot agree on how to do certain things. For example, you and the other person may share a common goal, such as when owning a business. You need to stop focusing on the process and start focusing on the end result.
Even though the other person may not do it the way you would like it to be done, if the goal will be met and the results are the same, then it will be better if you let go of your differences. Different roads lead to the same destination.
Look At Similarities
In an argument, it is easy to focus on the differences between you and the other person, however, if you look closely, you might be surprised to see that you share some degree of similarity with the other person’s way of thinking. As we just said, you both might share the same goal, so why not focus on that instead of your differences. That is being far more productive than wasting time disagreeing.
In our lifetime we meet thousands of people, so we are bound to meet people with who we will disagree. While this can be frustrating, it is also the reality. You must keep in mind that to disagree with someone is not a sign of being disrespectful. You can simply disagree respectfully.