From time to time we all have disagreements. You’re probably going to hear that word in various forms(disagreement, disagree, disagreeing, etc…)a lot in this blog. I both heard it and used it last night during a very serious discussion I was having with my son about one of today’s most serious subjects.
“I think we’re on different sides of this one” my son Mason said. As our discussion went on, it became very clear that he was right. As we talked though, we also made sure we did some very important things within our discussion.
We made sure to LISTEN to what the other person was saying.
When we didn’t understand a point or concept we’d ASK QUESTIONS until we did.
We tried to USE ANALOGIES that each other could relate to in order to get our point across.
Even though we clearly disagreed, we NEVER YELLED OR CALLED EACH OTHER NAMES during our discussion.
I’ve used the term disagree a few times and that’s exactly what it was. A disagreement. At various times, both of USED “I DISAGREE” INSTEAD OF SAYING “YOU’RE WRONG.”
Both of us MADE AN HONEST EFFORT TO UNDERSTAND THE OTHER’S POINT. I don’t want to put words in my son’s mouth, but I think by the time we finished the discussion, both of us were a little “closer to the middle” than when we started although we still held onto our positions.
We RESPECTED EACH OTHER AND EACH OTHER’S OPINIONS. When you’re disagreeing with each other it’s so easy to view each other as an adversary as opposed to another person who just disagrees with you.
We both REALIZED THAT JUST BECAUSE WE DISAGREED, THAT DIDN’T MEAN THE OTHER WAS BAD OR STUPID OR SOMEHOW A WORSE PERSON. A disagreement is just that, a disagreement.
Finally, we MADE AN EFFORT TO UNDERSTAND THAT EACH OF OUR POSITIONS WAS HIGHLY INFLUENCED BY ALL OF OUR LIFE EXPERIENCES. We can’t know all of theirs and they can’t know all of ours. We can make an effort to describe ours and listen to theirs so we are at least aware of them.
At the end of our discussion I felt better. I felt better both about my feelings and positions and about my son’s. Both of us used an open mind and a willingness to realize each other’s point of view. IT WAS A THOUGHTFUL, HONEST AND MEANINGFUL DISCUSSION THAT ENDED A DISAGREEMENT AND BEGAN AN UNDERSTANDING.