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emjay's avatar

How do YOU deal with people who disagree with you?

Asked by emjay (668 points ) November 24th, 2013

I’ve been thinking lately about my childhood, and the way I was brought up.
The more I think about it, the more I see that a) my mom had no friends, and b) anyone who disagreed with her views was immediately excommunicated and in all other ways excised from our lives.
This was highlighted for me when, this year, my older brother got married, and my mom did not attend. They had gotten into a fight some months earlier about how our younger siblings were being raised, and have not spoken since.
As I thought it over, I realized that it in situations of extreme disagreement, I too, had been known to fall back to this paradigm. Since that realization, I have made a conscious effort to remain rational when involved in disagreements, and not simply pretend that the person does not exist anymore.
I am curious, how do other people deal with disagreements, significant or otherwise? How do you think the way you were raised, or behaviors you witnessed in childhood affect your choices in these types of situations?

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14 Answers

JLeslie's avatar

It depends somewhat on what the disagreement is about. How much it really will affect my life.

Sometimes I get defensive, especially if it is someone in my family who I have a history of arguing with. My parents yell constantly. Oy. Actually my dad yells less as he as aged. Anyway, our pattern for fighting has a long history.

Usually though, I try to listen to someone’s point of view. What I know for sure is two people can disagree and both people can be right. It isn’t always black and white, there is all sorts of grey.

It takes a lot for me to cut someone off. Some people do the silent treatment thing or even stop talking to the person for days or weeks or years. They wait for a wedding or funeral until they see the person again and then they are talking again. I don’t get it. If I am going to forgive a person eventually, I figure I might as well do it now and not lose time being angry and causing unrest, especially within a family. It is unfair to the entire family. That whole anger, never clear the air, never really work things out, is passive aggressive and I could never be married to it that’s for sure. Everyone has a little of it maybe, but people who constantly behave le that are so annoying, and I find it horrible to feel like you have to be on eggshells with those people or they might get angry and sulk or stop talking to you.

I really believe if you have good communication skills you are better equipped to deal with disagreement. Listening, repeating back what someone else said to make sure you understood. Agreeing to disagree, and staying more objective by trying to put yourself in the other person’s shoes helps me.

Unbroken's avatar

Rational, listening keeping priorities in order: what do you want to happen in the best possible scenario what is the worst possible scenario. How to work toward one and move further away from the other.

Be willing to reconsider your views or be wrong though you don’t have to considering it makes a difference. Sometimes agreeing to disagree is the best solution.

Another important aspect is maintaining civility. If you or the other person are no longer rational or becoming too heated. Stop the conversation and table it. But only for a short period of time. You must always readdress.

Thirdly be willing to apologize for saying something from a place of excess emotion. You can do that with out giving up your position.

gondwanalon's avatar

We are all different and very complex people and come from all kinds of backgrounds. It is no wonder that we have such varied points of view.

If the other person is playing a verbal game with me or is too upset or angry for a meaningful verbal transaction then I will simply not participate.

In general I like it when people disagree with me as if encourages me to think about why I think that I’m right and they’re wrong and vis versa. It is a golden opportunity to learn and grow.

Smitha's avatar

I just don’t care if people disagree with me because we all have different perspectives and everyone is entitled to their opinion. The only thing that bothers me is when my statement or points get completely misconstrued or gets interpreted in unintended ways. But at times we also learn many things from people who disagree with us.

JamesHarrison's avatar

Every person have their own views & no one can change that as you want. We all have a right to listen anyone & react anything on that. I never put my decision to anyone. Its depends on person either they agree or disagree on your views. If you ask about that how to deal with such person so according to me just ignore them.

Lorna's avatar

Everyone is entitled to their own opinions. We are all never right or never wrong. The world would be boring if we all agreed.

ucme's avatar

I don’t, it’s just a thing, an unavoidable/inevitable thing.

KNOWITALL's avatar

I was raised shuttling between my grandparents and my single mother. My grandparents were different, gpa forgave everything, gma was pretty strict on acceptable behavior around her home and children. My mom was a hippie so she forgave pretty much everything.

For myself, I don’t mind disagreements so much as the tone they take when disagreeing. If you say “I think you’re wrong because _______” then I’ll listen and take it into consideration. If you namecall or mock or demean, then not only will I not listen but you will not have my respect.

In RL, I have boundaries with friends and family of course, but it takes a lot to get me to extricate people permanently. One friend crossed a pretty big boundary when he got too drunk and started singing very explicit song lyrics to me in front of my husband and his wife, and so we don’t hang out anymore.

My uncle is a super religious hypocrite and although I will always love him, we can’t hang out or we want to hurt each other…lol, and we’re both Republican so those of you that know my beliefs, should realize he’s close to a 100% tea partyer, ugh.

LornaLove's avatar

It depends on how close they are. I handle people I don’t know well quite aggressively at times. For people close to me I get very sad withdrawn and mull over it. I tend to stop speaking to them. I guess you could call it sulk. There were no sulkers in my family. So that part I made up on my own! My parents were both very aggressive people. I mean hidings and all that were highly thought of. (As opposed to grounding or whatever).

I hate disagreeing with people. Although I am not an agreeable sort !! If they are close to me I mean. I guess with those I care for I am more agreeable or a push over.

talljasperman's avatar

I hide from them by staying in my bedroom.

mattbrowne's avatar

Appreciate the opportunity to learn and grow.

snowberry's avatar

Fluther provides a tremendous amount of exercise in this department. For me, it really helps not to dip into name calling, but I have a very long list of the names I have been called. LOL It’s fun to keep track. If someone calls me a name that I have already been called, I tell them that’s not good enough, and they need to try harder!

In real life, I can’t think of any people who are unpleasant when they disagree with me. We’re much more willing to agree to disagree, and leave it at that.

ISmart's avatar

walk away..

Khajuria9's avatar

People have all the reasons to disagree, it doesn’t matter much to me if they don’t agree. I appreciate the situation as an opportunity to see their opinions and beliefs.

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