A disagreement is a type of conflict, either between two persons or their ideas. When it comes to matters of taste and judgment, there is always room for differences of opinion. When other people tell us that our beliefs or opinions are wrong, we usually raise our hackles. Sometimes, we try to hide our irritation but many a time disagreements may escalate as both people become ego-involved and stick to their views.
Many a time, the persons on one side of the issue can come to regard those on the opposite side as having negative personal attributes such as being ignorant, ill-informed, and biased. When people adopt one set of views, other people can start to view them from this negative perspective.
The negative perceptions of disagreeing with others include judgments such as unlikeable, dishonest, and even lacking in such qualities as leadership potential. Their dislike extends to the desire not to want to be friends with these people, invite them to a neighborhood group or even vote for them in an election.
A state of prolonged public disagreement, concerning a matter of conflicting opinion or point of view can become controversial. When disagreements are about heated topics such as politics, people will be even less likely to take note of the strength of contradictory opinions.
When people disagree, their brains became less sensitive to understanding others’ opinions. Consequently, the opinion of the disagreeing partner has little impact on the other’s conviction that he or she is correct. But, on the other hand, the disagreeing partner thinks that he or she is very sure in his or her assessment.
According to a newly published study by Princeton University’s Nathan Cheek and colleagues (2021), disagreements are just a normal part of life. However, it found that though disagreements are often harmless, they can sometimes trigger arguments, anger, resentment, and even the break-up of relationships or violence.
How to lessen disagreements? –
We live in a pluralistic society made up of people with varying social, religious, and cultural backgrounds. They have different values, practices, and beliefs. Therefore, disagreements are inevitable. But we should respect other person’s belief systems, even if we disagree with them.
We can lessen the disagreements with others as follows:
Good Listening - Good listening conveys positive regard for you by making it clear that, though you disagree strongly, you respect the person.
Understand Other’s Position - If you try to understand the other person’s position, it takes big strides in the direction of avoiding disagreement.
Learn to be Tolerant - Tolerance is the ability to endure something you don’t like and find objectionable. In society, people, practicing different cultural and religious beliefs differ in their practices and convictions. So tolerance can reduce conflict between these diverse groups.
People Matter - People are more important than being right, so don’t become emotional when someone doesn’t agree with you.
Words Matter – Use arguments in a non-intimidating way. Ask questions in a friendly way, and let the others put forward their views. Don’t dominate the conversation.
Don’t hold a grudge - There is always some common ground you both can agree upon in most disagreements. So don’t hold a grudge against the person as it is one’s right to disagree.
Don’t feel guilty about disagreements – It is not necessary to agree with people all the time because it’s okay to have a different opinion. But you shouldn’t feel guilty about disagreement.
Don’t stop all conversations - You suggest that you can talk about this issue another time because this keeps the dialogue going and could help you resolve the disagreement later. To stop all conversations is a type of manipulation. Agreeing to disagree must be mutual with both parties.
You can’t agree always because you don’t want to go along with someone, who is asking you to do something illegal or immoral, which goes against your conscience. So agreeing to disagree is normal.