Daily Short-hOPT: Agree to Disagree 

“Different roads sometimes lead to the same castle.” – George R. R. Martin

Religion and politics are two things I have always been told to stay away from discussing. These are two examples of things that often lead to heated debate. I see them more as things that can’t often be discussed between people of differing viewpoints without angst. With the various platforms we have today to spread our views and opinions, there is no shortage of disagreement available to us in a multitude of forms on a variety of topics. Between the Supreme Court ruling yesterday and soccer…seriously, soccer…we argue over even the most inconsequential things. The problem is, we rarely allow for any opposing viewpoints. What we believe has to be right, right? 

I’ve developed a pretty distinct policy as it pertains to issues like religion, politics, or abortion: if we can’t discuss them civilly, I won’t discuss them. The end. I used to get involved in these debates to the point where I’d just end up mad, and for what? The end of the conversation left everyone involved in the same exact place they were when they started. No one listened. No one allowed for a difference of opinion. In that scenario, no one learned anything. No progress was made. 

It is entirely possible to have a civil discussion with someone else without getting angry or upset. Seriously. Here’s a few tips:

Believe what you believe steadfastly, but remember that not everyone believes what you believe. That is okay. 

Listen. Don’t just wait for your turn to talk. Listen. 

Internalize the differing viewpoint. 

Ask questions. 

Be respectful. 

Know that there is gray area. There is always gray area. Life is not black and white. 

It is of the utmost importance that we have discussions about things that matter. I simply advocate for a more respectful kind of disagreement. It’s possible. We don’t have to be right, we’re just wired to feel that way. Sometimes, if we put down our guard just a little and listen, we can learn things. 

Have an awesome Wednesday,
-A. 

If you enjoyed this post, there’s plenty more where that came from. Check out the blog @ shorthoptimism.wordpress.com. Feel free to follow us on Twitter – @short_hOPT. Thanks for reading!

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