Why do we have such a hard time disagreeing with people? When in a disagreement with someone, why is it that we feel such a need to make the other person agree with us?
It happens everywhere, all the time.
It’s as if we have a hard time holding different ideas or opinions about things without feeling the need to argue, get heated, or change the other person’s mind.
Learning how to disagree is truly an art, and these are some step-by-step tips on how to make it happen.
1. Become Aware
If you are struggling with allowing yourself to disagree with someone else, start by asking yourself…
- What is it about the other opinion that makes you so upset?
- Why is it so hard for you to share space with people who don’t believe the same as you?
- What do YOU believe that makes it hard to hear someone else believe the opposite?
- Do you want to be someone who needs to always be right so that you don’t get upset?
You need to know what you believe, and why you believe it without thinking that there is only one choice. We often think that we believe what we believe because our opinion is right… but that’s really not the truth.
We believe what we believe because of a multitude of factors (perspective, past experience, our own beliefs, etc.)
2. Learn to Listen
Once you have developed a sense of awareness surrounding your beliefs, you need to be able to meet people where they are.
Instead of immediately jumping to the defensive on your opinion, try to listen and ask more questions.
Actually listen, hear, and try to understand why they believe what they believe. Remembering that this person’s beliefs are not upsetting you. It’s your perception of their beliefs that is.
This persons beliefs are true for them, just like yours are for you.
3. Your Thoughts Are For You
What you do, what is true for you, is for you to discover and for you to change as you so choose. This same principle applies to other people too.
It’s not your responsibility to do the changing for them.
When you find yourself being upset about what someone else believes, it’s not their fault. It is the result of your own thoughts, emotions, and interpretation of their thoughts, make sense?
It’s happening in your brain.
So notice the feelings that someone else’s thoughts are causing for you, and give yourself some space and time to witness your own thinking.
In doing this, you can then choose your response, and make a decision that’s not based on your initial emotional response. This allows the other party the opportunity to feel safe in sharing their opinions too.
This is where you can start to understand, and to educate, and to share and connect. It’s not about being right or correcting the other party’s opinion.
It’s about allowing each other to feel heard, and allowing people to share what is on their heart.
You can disagree with someone, still respect them, and still coexist.
Being able to hold space for disagreement will truly change the way you communicate.