In a recent post I exposed the dark area of my life that showed how ridiculously obsessed I am about winning, and the fact that I hate losing or failing at anything. Something that goes in tandem with this is how often I feel my perspective or opinion is right and the other persons is wrong. I usually see this play out most often in my marriage as my wife and I “passionately dialogue” about our perspective on various matters. The real question to tackle is around dealing with disagreement.
There are certain arguments or discussions that can be categorized as simply unhelpful, silly, and even dumb. In these instances, the issue is not “How do you respond” but rather, don’t even engage the conversation. Titus 3:9 gives us clear instruction in regards to this and it would be wise for us to follow those instructions.
Then there are serious topics that need to be discussed. So how do we engage in conversation and respond in these instances? Further, the issue of disagreement and more importantly how we respond in light of disagreement is one that impacts almost every area of our life. As a spouse, employee, or employer. How do we respond when we stare at the person across from the table and just don’t agree with them?
3 Ways To Respond To Disagreement:
First, its important to recognize that we may actually be wrong, which will result in a more humble attitude and approach in our conversations. A posture of humility in conversation allows both parties to engage honestly and receive what the other person is actually saying. When we find ourselves in that stalemate situation it may no longer be an issue of who will “win” but rather a long term approach to sharing a particular perspective.
Walk Away While Maintaining The Relationship:
It’s ok to disagree and to make a definitive stance on something that we believe in. However, it’s an error to walk away from this type of conversation and lose a relationship over it. It’s absolutely ok to walk away saying you disagree with each other but you still respect each others opinion and perspective. Don’t lose a friendship over a disagreement, in almost every situation its not worth it.
Study and Learn The Other Perspective:
I’ve made my opinion and perspective on planned parenthood pretty public. You can read about it here. In the process I was faced with conversations with people who I love, respect, and value, but we found ourselves fiercely disagreeing. I decided to approach this situation by considering, researching, and studying the other position. Throughout the process I found that I was in fact misinformed in some areas, but at the end I was more convinced about my position. The result was also an ability relate to and show the other individuals that I seriously cared about them and their position and was willing to do the work to be informed.
Disagreement in life is a guarantee. The way we respond in light of disagreement can make a significant difference in our personal, professional, and even spiritual growth and maturity.