When You Don’t See Eye To Eye

Some of my friends have decided to remove themselves from social media.  Most are citing negative posts and mean comments when people do not see eye to eye.  They debate the emotional cost of staying connected.

“It all feels so stressful.”

“I can’t believe my friend believes that!”

“No one is listening.”

We are living in stressful times.  I have noticed it can trigger disagreements on social media.  It seems that respect goes by the wayside; and we do not engage as the cool, calm, and rational adults we can be.  Instead we bully, name call, and say other nasty things.

However, there is value in having conversations with people who we don’t necessarily see eye-to-eye with.  These conversations might grow your perspective on a topic or bolster your argument as to why you disagree.  Likewise, we often need to have difficult conversations about things we disagree on to reach solutions.

So what are some things to remember when we are talking with people you disagree with?

Decide if you want to go there.  Is the conversation even worth having?  Can you learn about it or find out about it from someone else?  If you are trying to change that person’s mind, then the goal of the conversation is not learning and understanding but a lecture.

Listen for perspective. The tone in someone’s voice can usually offer clues to whether you are talking to a person who doesn’t likely want to hear an alternative perspective.  If they are guarded or you hear absolutes like “I absolutely hate” – it may be reason to move on.

Start the conversation off with understanding.  Grant your counterpart her premise and then argue from there – instead of telling them their thinking is wrong (or name calling).

Look for where you agree. Is there common ground that you can stand together on?

Talk less and listen. Give people time to respond.

Avoid using ‘but.” Phrases like “yes but” are a pretty good indication you are trying to score a point.

Resist the current vogue to be provocative. Look for opportunities to neutralize the emotional load of a conversation.

Know that disagreements are okay.


Know when to fold ‘em. Agree to disagree.  Those three words are incredibly important when it comes to conflict resolution.

If you want to find out more ways to be emotionally connected to your spouse or partner, call us at 936-524-7523 or go to www.thecenterforhopeandhealing.net