One of the hardest things in the world, is to control the temptation to justify and argue our point of view. Especially when we are absolutely convinced that we’re right about something. But what would that yield? Why prove someone else wrong? What will that achieve? All we gain is our own feeling of superiority and them feeling inferior.
Try arguing with someone, and 9 times out of 10 even when they know they are wrong, they will argue their point even more as not to lose face and feel embarrassed. If you understand people, you know that we are driven by emotion first, and one of the most influential emotions we try to protect is our pride and ego.
Here’s how to keep a disagreement from becoming an Argument
- Welcome the disagreement. If the other person is raising a point we haven’t considered, we can be thankful it’s brought to our attention, it may save us from making a mistake.
- Pause before you react. Our natural reaction to an adverse opinion is to defend our own, but instead we shouldn’t accept nor reject it, but first look to understand
- Tame your temper When emotion is high, intelligence is low, so if you do not control your temper, the likelihood of you saying something you may later regret is exceptionally high.
- Listen first. View them not as your opponent but as a person who has thoughts and ideas which are framed by other people. Give them a chance to talk without interruption, resistance, defence, or debate.
- Look for areas of agreement. If you find areas you agree on first, it allows you to create a place for you to work from
- Be honest. If you look first for areas in your own ideology where you can admit error and apologise, it permits them to do the same. If you do not do this, it is unlikely they will feel free to either.
- Deliver edible food. Imagine your favourite most delicious plate of food was served to you splashed over the table, because of poor delivery, you won’t accept it. If you deliver your ideas in a way that can be received even if they disagree, there is room for communication.