Don’t Agree With Me

With writing a weekly blog and having a radio segment, both about shifting your mindset and being a better you, there are many topics that can be controversial. I have found that for the most part, people who leave comments agree with what I have written or said. This has always made me feel great, because it confirms that I am on the right track and that people are really growing and getting the most out of my messages. On a few occasions, I have received some comments in which people are not agreeing with me. They are stating a different view about the same topic. They are voicing their opinion even though it contradicts mine.

My initial response has been to be offended. But then, as I began to really digest the words, I realized that it is healthy for people to have different opinions and thoughts. It is a great compliment to me that these people feel safe enough to write and comment to me that they think differently than I do! It also means that I got them thinking! Now I welcome people pointing out a different spin on the topic I am presenting, as it encourages my growth and the growth of my readers and listeners. This is called healthy banter!

How do you feel when people agree with you?
Does it validate your beliefs?
Does it make you feel like you are right?
Does it make you feel secure?

How do you feel when someone has a different view or opinion on a topic?

Do you get defensive and feel attacked?
Do your feathers get ruffled?
Do you silently judge?
Do you welcome it as a learning experience?

There are many “Lessons” I have learned from people not agreeing with me:

It is healthy to embrace our differences- If we are constantly trying to control others, and trying to make others think as we do; then there is no growth. We must be open to other points of view and learn from them. This does not mean we have to agree with a different opinion, but to be open to it and to respect another person’s view is liberating!
Encourage different points of view- When we are willing to listen to a different angle on the same topic; it opens us up for growth. When we shut down and only think our view is the right view, we are closed off to potential learning and growing. Besides, being closed-minded is unattractive!
Don’t be offended-There is nothing wrong with taking a look at the other side of things. Know that it is not a personal attack on you if people think differently. That is what makes this life experience fun and interesting!
Truth is dynamic- Remember that whatever your truth is, the opposite is true for someone else. This does not make you or the other person wrong…it makes our journeys different. When we judge others for being different, we are essentially saying we are superior, and that is just not so. We all have a unique perspective depending on our history, upbringing, and so on. Respect that in yourself and in others!

Take Action: This week and moving forward, let’s practice embracing and celebrating our different viewpoints. Let’s catch ourselves when we are becoming defensive as a result of someone having a different take on a topic than we do. Let’s try to be curious and learn and grow from them instead of becoming cynical, judgmental, and eventually shutting down!

Because Together is Better,

Comments

  1. Robin Strohmaier says:

    Excellent article, Deanna! I agree that it is healthy for people to have different opinions and thoughts. Traditionally, I am confrontational and it took me a while to appreciate having conversations with people with different viewpoints. You are right. We should celebrate and learn from our differences! Happy holidays!

  2. The more we practice not getting offended when someone has a different take than us, the more we train the muscle of being non-judgemental and appreciating the wonderful differences between us.

    I love your articles, Deanna, and your calls to action at the end. Happy Holidays!

    • I agree, Delia, that we can train the muscle of being non-judgmental…I love that wording! Thank you for being here and growing with me! -Deanna

  3. I’ve got lots of friends who, when we’re discussing issues we get to the place where we just have to agree to disagree – especially when discussing religion, politics, or relationships. It’s all about respecting opinions, right? Our nature can sometimes be “you’re either with me, or you’re against me” but that can really limit your interactions.

    • I agree Kimba, sometimes we have to agree to disagree. This is hard to do with people you are related to or live with…but it can be done. There has to be a mutual respect and a lack of control. Thank you for your comment! -Deanna

  4. When someone has disagreed with a post, it has taken me off guard. I don’t want to be defensive, so I usually sit on it awhile before I respond. Giving myself some space and reading/rereading if necessary, I can usually find a common place to meet and work from there. This isn’t easy. I don’t want everyone to agree with me. I guess I do appreciate it when a person disagrees in a non-threatening way. I don’t always agree with another but I don’t try to be rude in my disagreeing attitude. A healthy conversation is ideal.

    Visiting from Blog Formatting this evening. Merry Christmas.

    • Linda, I think sitting on it instead of reacting to it is a wise thing to do, especially if your initial reaction is to be defensive. Thank you for your words of advice! -Deanna

  5. It is our differences that makes us beautiful, the saying goes. If we understand that it is not the difference of opinion, but how it is presented that makes it unpleasant. Learning to express ourselves respectfully is the key to a positive outcome that can strengthen the relationship instead of damaging it. When we agree to disagree that’s a great start. Timely, helpful post specially during this season.

    • Delmy, your words are so true and so wise for me. I love how you put it:”If we understand that it is not the difference of opinion, but how it is presented that makes it unpleasant.” Thank you for your comment! -Deanna

  6. Interesting article. If we all agreed about everything the world would be a boring place.

    http://www.lifestyleandimage.co.uk

  7. Whenever I lead a committee – I make sure to ask people to be on my committee that I know won’t agree with me. It tends to take longer to get to a final product lots of back and forth and exchanging of ideas and opinions . . . but the outcome is much better. When everyone is “on the same page” in the beginning – you tend to zip through the planning stages – but overlook some “outside the box” ideas. However, I have also learned, that I have to be careful when asking for volunteers. This whole process falls apart if 1) people take the disagreements personally or 2) common courtesy isn’t used! A phrase I use often is, “I’m not married to this idea – so feel free to disagree”. Thanks for the great post!

    • Lisa, this is such a great perspective, that you purposefully have people on your committee who have a different opinion. I just LOVE that! It really does open up a whole new world of ideas and attitudes. Thank you for this wisdom! -Deanna

  8. I enjoy a healthy discussion, and have no problems with people who have a different opinion. The only exception is those who express that difference of opinion as bashing or knowing the only truth. We need different opinions for the World to move forward. We can’t all agree all the time.

    • Linda, I know what you mean, that it is hard to be in a conversation with someone who thinks there is only one truth. I think we can learn something from these types of people as well. We just need to ask for the lesson and be open for it! I appreciate you being here! -Deanna

  9. I like to think I’m open-minded and happy to hear other people’s opinions but it isn’t always as easy as it sounds. Differences make the world go round and I agree with Veronica above that life would be very dull if we all thought the same.

    • Phoebe, I agree with you and Veronica…what a boring life we would lead if we had no opportunity to learn and grow from others. Thank you for being here! -Deanna

  10. Dear Deanna
    I am really learning to appreciate my differences to others and then I can be extra happy experiencing their gifts that I don’t embody! For me this is being truely spontaneous which I find very hard but when I’m with others who are like this I have so much fun!! Lots of love Jennifer xxx

  11. I like to hear different points of views, but I also have to remember to stay open minded when I do so. Sometimes I find myself being a little shut off when it comes to looking at different perspectives, but a quick little reminder and all is well again.

    Laura
    http://lifesdaringadventure.com

  12. What a great article! It seems often that people think they must always agree in order to remain to friends. I have found that when I don’t agree, I let the other person know that although I don’t agree, I am open to trying to ‘walk a mile’ in their view point as well. It may not change my mind but at least it allows me to be open to the possibilities. It also creates a safe place within my friendships because they know I will not judge them for something they may choose to say, do or think differently. Thank you for such a good read!

    • Thank you Erica! You really hit it on the head…you are allowing yourself and your friends to feel safe. If we can’t share our viewpoint with someone for fear of being rejected…then there is no safety or respect there! Thank you for sharing! -Deanna

  13. This is so true. When I have an issue with somebody, I like to go talk it out with them.

  14. Vicki Bezio says:

    I agree…. If you have an issue and you don’t address it, how can it get fixed?

    • I agree Vicki. I also want to stress the point of the post in that we all have different view points and should not feel stifled in expressing them for healthy banter. Thank you for your comment! -Deanna

  15. I think it is important and healthy to express honest opinions. Everyone has different ideas and perspecitves depending upon their own individual lives. We should not be offended by others’ opinions or any constructive criticisms they have to offer.:)

  16. I love the quotes. Everyone has there opinions and sometimes it’s hard not to get hurt by them.

    • Dawn, you are right in that sometimes we will get hurt by another person’s opinions…but that is growth as well! Thank you for being here! -Deanna

  17. I love the sayings that you have posted. I try to be a very open and communicative person and sometimes I find people get offended that I don’t agree with what they say. That makes me sad sometimes.

    • Irene, that is a sad thing…but remember, we can only change ourselves! You work on you being open to other people’s points of view, and your world will flourish! -Deanna

  18. I love that Walt Whitman quote. The world is filled with fascinating and interesting people – we cut ourselves off from so much if we simply judge people (including ourselves) instead of looking for understanding and common ground.

    • Jo, I love what you wrote! Yes, we cut ourselves off from so much. I don’t think people realize that, as they get set in their ways and views and wont’ move. I appreciate you being here! -Deanna

  19. Hearing different points of view, whether or not you agree, helps you become a more knowledgeable person. It’s how the people present their point of view, rather than what they say, that can make a big difference. In that case I slip into my “consider the source” mode. Hmmm, that might be judgmental.

    • Meli, I agree that we all can be judgmental while “considering the source”…but that is a natural reaction as well. If we can be present and remember that what is true to us is not necessarily true for others. That relieves a ot of pressure and stress! Thank you for your wise words. -Deanna

  20. I am not offended easily.. and i like to hear different points of view..

  21. Great way to say…let them be curious! I enjoyed reading this because I too get a bit “offended” when a comment doesn’t agree with what I said. Thank you for sharing.

  22. I guess it’s in most of our natures to voice our opinion, we just have to remember that it’s “their” opinion and not be offended by it.

    • Jim, you are right! Our ego gets in the way so often. We think we need to be right and that we need to have everyone agree with us to validate our view…that is very egocentric. I love your wise words! -Deanna

  23. I believe different points of view and being able to express them is crucial. It is hard not be offended, but we can’t take all this personal. Great post.

  24. “Don’t judge me silently”….brilliant! Let the communication begin!!!! It’s called “respect”.

    • Mom, I agree, that it boils down to respect. Like I wrote, if you can only see your perspective as being the only perspective…then you are acting superior…YUCK! I appreciate your comment! -Deanna

  25. I agree that it is healthy to have conversations with people with differing viewpoints. It does cause you to think and understand things from a different perspective. The normal human reaction is to be offended, but just think if we all agreed all the time how boring life would be

    • Veronica, I agree with you! If we all had the same point of view, how boring would life be! We can celebrate and learn from our differences! Thank you for being here! -Deanna

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