(3) Tips on How to Disagree with Grace

Disagree: to have or express a different opinion

Not everyone is comfortable enough with confrontation to engage in disagreements. And there is definitely an art to arguing.

Here are the 3 tips on how to disagree with grace:

  1. Stick to the known facts and don’t make it personal.
  2. Use ‘I’ statements, otherwise, you sound all-knowing and righteous. People stop listening when being preached at.
  3. Actively listen to the other person’s point of view. Ask questions and engage in their perspective. The worst belief you can have is your lens is the only lens to see life through.

I like to voice my opinion and it’s because I like a meaningful conversation. Why? I think this quote from Bret Stephens sums it up.

To say, I disagree; I refuse; you’re wrong; etiam si omnes — ego non — these are the words that define our individuality, give us our freedom, enjoin our tolerance, enlarge our perspectives, seize our attention, energize our progress, make our democracies real, and give hope and courage to oppressed people everywhere.

– Bret Stephens, New York Times

If there were no disagreements in the world, everyone in the U.S. would be speaking with a completely different accent. How else did we end slavery or obtain rights for women?

Someone started the opposing conversation even though it wasn’t the current ‘popular’ opinion.

Nothing would change if we all had the same opinions and beliefs. And if you’re not growing, you’re just…dying. How lame.

As awful as I think some of the conversations are that are happening now, I’d rather there be an argument between both sides than silence on one end while the other overtakes. Pretty sure that’s how events like Nazi Germany unfold.

I don’t disagree with the intention to change a person’s mind. I disagree because I believe it’s important to have many different voices (i.e. perspectives) in the discussion. If only one voice is controlling the mood, then what’s the point of having a conversation?

We (both the quiet and outspoken) could brush up our skills on how to disagree with grace. Personally, I need to work on my timing and with whom I’m entering into a disagreement.

And If I’m being REALLY honest, I could work on not changing my behavior when countered with immaturity and/or preaching.

If I’ve stayed silent while you shared your view and waited until my turn to talk and you interrupt me consistently, I go into “bitch, it’s on,” mode. . I will interrupt you ALL DAY and make irrelevant comments for no other reason than to drive you crazy.

I get tired of being an adult and sometimes I enjoy a good stooping to the other person’s level sitch. Hey, I never claimed to have it figured out. I promised to be honest, accountable, and authentic.

Question for you: What step(s) out of the three I listed could you work on? Either contemplate it for yourself or feel free to share with the class in the comment section below. I can’t be the only one who needs work 😉

RamblinRandol is my journey back to loving myself. It’s an open letter on how I’m growing through what I’ve been through. And like Maya Angelou said, “the ache for home lives in all of us…” It’s time for me to feel at home in my own skin.

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