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Saturday, April 04, 2015

Dealing With Disagreement

Something I've been working on the last couple months:How do you maintain a good relationship with people you don't agree with? And I don't mean just little disagreements. I'm talking about big differences in political and religious views.

I know that no matter what the circumstances, I shouldn't be cruel or attack the person. Not to mention it's good to be around people whose backgrounds and opinions vary from your own. But I'm having some issues putting it into practice.

I don't want to ignore doing the right thing or compromise my beliefs in favor of making sure I don't offend someone. But I don't want to end up creating unnecessary strife because I was too stubborn or prejudiced.

How do you do in this area?

© 2015 by M.R.R.


WallCat said...

This is a problem I have found also. You should never have to sacrifice what is valuable to you to accommodate another person's differing beliefs, but at the same time you have to be open to the fact that not everybody thinks the same way. I like to see this as a learning opportunity. Perhaps some people are more interesting because they don't always agree with our opinions, often challenging us on them. They can teach us new things or help us to form an even stronger conviction for what we already believe. It doesn't have to become a problem so long as we all respect those differences and can agree to disagree. It's possible to talk about differences without causing offence by keeping a calm tone and watching the words we use. It's also important to remember that everybody has a different back story and reasons for why they have developed certain beliefs. These opinions may have been formed over a span of many years, and most of us will not change that overnight no matter how convincing an argument we're subjected to. Sometimes we just need to learn to let it go and accept that fact.

However, you have to question the value of the friendship if you feel like you're having to make too many important sacrifices for them. Sometimes relationships just don't work out and nobody is to blame for that.

You could also try changing the subject if you sense things are about to get heated. Don't be afraid to vocalise what you believe in though (it's impossible to please everybody.) I think that some people even enjoy that kind of heated conversation..

J.L. Campbell said...

I'm come to realize that I'll never get along with some people. Therefore, I never get into arguments with those I can't agree with. It's okay to have friendly hellos and leave it there.

TheCyborgMom said...

I find that people that I very much disagree with about big stuff I end up talking little too. I'm a big believer in "if you have nothing nice to say, then don't say anything". Yup. Or, I just skip the "touchy" subjects. My bff is a different religion and is a liberal democrat...where I'm more conservative. We don't talk about politics or religion :)

Barbara In Caneyhead said...

Well, in casual relationships, if I see we disagree on something I consider important, I tend to just avoid that topic with them. In closer relationships, well, I usually don't have extremely close relationships with folks I disagree with on important issues, because usually we are just too far apart on too many things to become close in the first place.

I'm with you that while discussion may be a good thing, argument and strife does nothing positive.

As to, standing for principles, if I'm in the other persons home, business, etc. and I feel staying compromises mine, I leave. If someone comes to my home and is behaving in such a way that compromises mine, I ask them to stop while they are here and if they won't they are asked to leave.

But then again, I am fortunate that on my side, all of my family is Christian or respects Christian principals. And on hubby's side it is pretty much the same thing. So it has seldom caused anything among the family.

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M.R. R. said...

@ Wallcat
Wise words.

@ J.L. Campbell
At times, that's the best approach.

@ TheCyborgMom
I need to do that.

M.R. R. said...

@ Barbara In Caneyhead

Most of the people I spend a lot of time with or talk about religion are Christians. My concern is more will I come off in a negative way with non-Christians. There are enough shrill and obnoxious religious folks out there; I don't need to be one.

Entrepreneurial Goddess said...

Hello there.
Just think how boring life wuld be if we were all the same...we'd be like a bunch of mindless robots! That's not how God created us, but I do find that by applying Bible counsel in all walks of life, I can avoid, even diffuse difficult situations, so I treat others how I would like to be treated myself, with kindness, compassion and forgiveness. Here are some scriptures I always try to remember: Proverbs 14:29; Matthew 6:12, 14, 15; 5:43-48; Ephesians 4:31, 32; Colossians 3:13

Entrepreneurial Goddess

M.R. R. said...

@ Entrepreneurial Goddess
And that is how we should go about it.

MsCleanslate said...

I am about as liberal as they come and have many ultra-conservative friends. I just have learned to skip things I don't want to read (I have friends I have to "hide" on Facebook in election years!) and, although it annoys me sometimes, I avoid posting anything that I think will set folks off.

M.R. R. said...

@ MsCleanslate
That's mostly what I do. Even though I'm fairly conservative, I tend to dislike reading the political posts my conservative friends have left on Facebook. Politics and social media just don't seem to mix well.

Dixie@dcrelief said...

Excellent post.
Lots of prayer, and looking at what 'upsets me,' as I may find it is something within myself, that I also dislike.

M.R. R. said...

@ Dixie@dcrelief
"Cast out the beam in your own eye", or however it goes. It's something we all should do.