There’s a storm-a-brewing!
There is a question that plagues our society. We see this on social media, the internet, and in homes…as it relates to when we should open up our country again economically.
There are two camps to this issue:
- Those that believe science prevails and the health of people is more important than money (opening up the economy)
- Those that believe the economy should be opened up asap due to other societal issues such as suicide, depression, PTSD, etc. that keeping it shut down will cause.
Certainly, there is a hybrid to each of these in that some think when the numbers of fatalities, testing, etc. indicate it’s safe to go out now, while others believe everything should open up May 1st.
This issue is very divisive! Stands to reason since our government and country are so divided.
The tips we want to share will work with any topic especially when two spouses disagree on something!
We want to provide some guidance and 5 simple steps to be able to “Agree to Disagree and Still Get Along” with a person who holds a different position or opinion on a topic than you do.
This subject is core to being able to have a healthy marriage and a healthy society.
Step 1: Value
The goal is to NOT change their position but to UNDERSTAND their position.
Realize going in, that your job is to state your case as efficiently as you can. If they agree with you, great, if not–great too. You are not out to “change their mind” but to state the facts of your case as best you can. This is your chance to be the lawyer you always wanted to be :-). Who knows, maybe after hearing their side..you might be able to meet in the middle or YOU will actually change. Your mindset going in is that you VALUE them, their thoughts and opinions–even if you disagree with them.
Step 2: Let Go
Do not try to “control” or “manipulate” them trying to prove your point is better than theirs.
When you try to control another person and they do not respond the way you want…the most common emotion in varying degrees is anger.
Step 3: Understand
Lead with questions to understand their side. Your goal is to UNDERSTAND them NOT to change their point of view. If it happens in the middle of the process, great! But don’t be tied to their response. Your goal is to simply understand their position by asking questions and gathering more data.
“How did you arrive at that conclusion”?
“What did you mean by that”?
“Tell me more about why you are so passionate about this”
Step 4: Respect
What NOT to do is accuse them of something. For example, “you only care about XYZ” or “you are not thinking correctly” or “you are wrong” or “you are on the wrong side of this”…No one, I mean no one, will ever respond positively when they feel disrespected or accused. Asking questions and showing you care about hearing/learning from them will go along way. You are not changing your position by doing this…you are simply showing respect for their position.
Showing them this respect is HOW you can agree to disagree and still get along with them.
Step 5: Stay Calm
Do whatever you can to remain calm. Take deep breathes, remember a different thought pattern (you are not trying to control or manipulate, but rather understand) You have to remain calm and confident in what you believe. They may be out to win the conversation, but your ability to remain calm and dignified will go a long way to being able to get along with this person even though you do not agree with them. Remember, you own your emotional state. No one can make you feel frustrated, angry, etc without YOU letting them.
You must take 100% responsibility for your response. Knowing that your #1 goal is seeking to understand rather than win, extinguishes the fire of having to be “right.”