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Forums / Staying well / How to disagree respectfully? All ideas are welcome.

Topic: How to disagree respectfully? All ideas are welcome.

  1. quirkywords
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    quirkywords avatar
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    5 June 2019

    I have noticed especially in social media but also in real life, that people find it hard to disagree with respect.

    We have seen politicians being personal and rude to each other just because they have different opinions.

    I don't think it is possible for us all to agree with each other but it is necessary for us to discuss our differences without attacking the personality of the other person.

    How do you disagree with people showing politeness and respect.?

    I encourage you to share your ideas, even if you find it hard to disagree respectfully.

    I feel for our mental health it is important for us to be aware of how our comments may affect others.

    Quirky

    4 people found this helpful
  2. White Rose
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    White Rose avatar
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    5 June 2019 in reply to quirkywords

    Thanks Quirky. This is a great topic.

    I would add, if that's OK with you Quirky, how we handle any disrespectful feedback from someone. The temptation is to answer in kind but that only escalates the tension and does nothing for the discussion. However we are not taking part in a discussion to be abused.

    I think we need to listen to ourselves speak. How often has someone said "It's not what they said but the way it was said". I think this is very much a root cause of disrespect. Or maybe it is the disrespect that shows itself in an unacceptable tone. Whatever the cause we can make sure we are speaking calmly and plainly, allowing the other to respond. It's so easy to want to jump in before the other person has finished making their point.

    Allowing someone to explain and giving our full attention to what is being said is a respectful attitude. If we are puzzled or unsure about anything asking questions shows we are listening and want to clearly understand what is being said.

    If we are being cut off by someone or subjected to abuse then the only answer is to walk away. It may feel as the other has 'won' the discussion but in reality I believe the other person will know the response is unacceptable no matter what they say. Hopefully, in those circumstances, they will be more inclined to have a polite answer next time.

    Mary

    3 people found this helpful
  3. Croix
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    5 June 2019 in reply to quirkywords

    Dear Quirky (wiht a wave at Mary)

    I beleive disagreeing respectfully is a two person process, unless both wish to engage wiht the other it is a no-win situation.

    True, one can listen whiteout interrupting, and ask for clarification if needs be, but one should expect the same from the other party. This may not end up in a situation where agreement is reached, but agreeing to disagree is a common event, and not always bad.

    If the other party does not wish to extend the same courtesy then I think your solution, Mary, to walk away, is the only realistic one.

    All that being said I'm afraid I've no path to wisdom and the other person might well be right :(

    Croix

    2 people found this helpful
  4. quirkywords
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    quirkywords avatar
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    6 June 2019 in reply to White Rose

    hello Mary and greetings to everyone reading

    I was going to mention about handling feedback but was starting with discussion.

    Thanks for mentioning it and your important points you discussed.

    I think when we get negative feedback we feel attacked and emotional so our first response is to attack back. I agree if we listen to what is said and remain calm it stops the attacks escalating. Also it can depend on who is giving the feedback, is it s afriend , a loved one or a stranger.

    If a loved one give me negative feedback that I feel is untrue and uncalled for , I do get defensive while trying to be calm, but that often ends in tears.

    I thinking giving our full intention and remember wring to discuss an opinion and not attack the person is important.

    So May there are two situations

    1- is when two,people are discussing a point of view

    2- is when someone gives you negative personal feedback that was not asked for.

    I find with 2 it is hard to be respectful when the feedback is not. if it is a family member it is hard to walk away from.

    Thanks for your helpful post.

    Quirky

    2 people found this helpful
  5. quirkywords
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    6 June 2019 in reply to Croix

    hello all

    Dear Croix,

    Thanks for your reply.

    That is a goodpoint about it being a two,process about discussing respectfully. You see this on television where one person is being very rude and overtalking and the other just sits calmly until he/she has had enough and then they both start shouting at each other.

    Agreeing to disagree is an art but ma y people want to prove the other person wrong so they can be right.

    I feel lucky we live in a country where we can voice our opinions.

    There is a time and place to disagree and a time to just remain quiet.

    Years ago an elderly relative told me after his wife died he chose not to be depressed.

    I could have discussed this with him but I just let it go as I knew nothing I would say would change his mind . I wanted my time with him to be calm.

    Quirky

    3 people found this helpful
  6. White Rose
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    White Rose avatar
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    6 June 2019 in reply to quirkywords

    Dear Quirky

    Hope I did not tread on your toes with my suggestion. I think the two parts work alongside each other and we need to think about our usual responses and consciously decide to speak respectfully. I know we usually do but reminding ourselves may help not to rush into hasty thoughts and words. I know this has been my besetting sin.

    Mary

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  7. quirkywords
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    6 June 2019 in reply to White Rose

    Hello all

    White Rose, I welcome your input to the discussion as I always learn something from your common sense wisdom.

    I find when someone touches a raw nerve with some ill chosen words, I do find it hard not to react. I am trying and sometimes I am calm and sometimes I am not.

    Quirky

    1 person found this helpful
  8. Croix
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    6 June 2019 in reply to quirkywords

    Dear Quirky~

    I agree some things are too important to back down on, they tend to be principals -at least for me, animal cruelty springs to mind.

    I also agree a person that is close to you is a bit of a different matter. Because you are close any criticism or unkind words have more effect, and gets bound up with if that person cares for you.

    I guess in the short term you walk away if you can, escalation will not realy help and could turn into a 'hurting match'. When I'm being obnoxious my partner (Mrs Walrus to you) simply goes silent (I just sulk:). Later one of us offers the other a cup of tea. Peace returns

    We do have a 'non aggression pact', neither of us will say anything that hurts deeply, has too much unconformable truth or cannot be taken back during an 'lively earnest discussion'. Took a 2nd marriage by both of us to realise we needed harmony. I'm lucky.

    It is hard to get that balance when hurting.

    Croix

    3 people found this helpful
  9. white knight
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    7 June 2019 in reply to Croix

    Thanks Quirky

    Over 40 yeats ago as a young 21yo recruit for the prison service I was lucky to have one of the best teachers of communication, tact and erhics. He was a high ranked officer and what he taught my class was amazing.

    Furthermore the respect he received from other officers and prisoners was very high.

    Eg. He one day berated an inmate in front of 10 other inmates for leaving his cell messy. Later he realised he got the cell number wrong. So he rounded up the 11 inmates and apologized to the inmate in front of the other 10.

    Its a little off topic but building respect is something grown by what you sow.

    As far as social media goes I've found there are good forums and toxic forums. The toxic ones I leave quickly. No point in arguing with those that enjoy it.

    "Greasing the cherry tree" is a technique I find handy. It meams an introduction of a semi compliment prior to a different viewpoint. Eg

    "I dont agree with that at all" can be added to at the beginning to say- "well I can see where you are going with that but I tend to disagree".

    TonyWK

    2 people found this helpful
  10. quirkywords
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    7 June 2019 in reply to white knight

    Hello people,

    Croix,

    I like the nonaggression pact and the cups of tea .

    I find it hard to ignore racism , cruelty to animals and humans, but I also know there is a time and place. I have learnt to listen to another’s point of view before jumping to do conclusions.

    Tony,

    I like the story of the officer apologising when he realised his mistake.

    I agree that the words one uses and chooses are important.

    I sometimes say, “ I agree with this point. I have problems with that point”.

    Quirky

    Quirky

    2 people found this helpful
  11. demonblaster
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    7 June 2019 in reply to quirkywords

    Hi Quirky and everyone ☺

    Excellent thread I'm just tagging for now.

    🌱

  12. therising
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    7 June 2019 in reply to quirkywords

    Hi Quirky

    Excellent topic!

    In general, I believe when we're in agreement about something it's typically because it's relating to or confirming our own beliefs. Basic example:

    • I have been led to the belief that this colour is 'blue'
    • I have been led to the belief that that thing up above us is called 'sky'
    • I have been led to the belief that those fluffy looking things are called 'clouds'

    So, if you've been taught to believe the same things and the sky happens to be blue today, with a few clouds, then we're in agreement. If someone else has been taught the sky is green with 'puff puffs' then we're likely not to agree :)

    When a disagreement comes about, what I like to do is question a person's beliefs (seek an education about their way of thinking). They may actually help me change my mind in some cases. Whilst this does sound like a rather calm approach, some things really do get my back up. In this case, sometimes it's simply best to change the subject, so as not to near the brink of anger and insanity.

    I believe disagreement comes about because we have learned a different way of thinking from someone else, based on a variety of experiences.

    Take care

    1 person found this helpful
  13. therising
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    7 June 2019 in reply to quirkywords

    Hi Quirky

    Tonight I looked back at what I'd written and had a laugh. Not only have I stated much of the obvious but it's a bit rambling to boot :) Not sure quite where my head was at, at the time.

    For me, how I handle a disagreement comes down to the nature of a person a lot of the time. If they're an egotist, I tend not to engage too much, as it typically ends up being a pointless exercise about them, more than anything else. If the person is open minded, I believe disagreements can lead to mutual education, even if it simply comes down to having gained a greater understanding of each other's mindset.

    As far as the serious egotists go, if they wish to arrogantly and disrespectfully push their point I can't help but have a little fun. If they flat out insist 'You're wrong!' my response may be 'If it makes you feel better, I'll let you believe that'. Or if they're rude and insulting the whole way through the conversation and end with words of frustration such as 'Let's just agree to disagree', I have been known to say 'If that works for you that's good but what works for me is the fact that I'm right!' Yes, a little antagonistic but still amusing to some degree. My theory is...if I have a choice between having a bit of fun and being seriously degraded by someone, I prefer to end the conversation with a smile on my face.

    :)

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  14. quirkywords
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    7 June 2019 in reply to therising

    Hello everyone,

    Demon blaster thanks for dropping by.

    The riding if I read all my posts after I had posted them I would stop posting!!

    Your 2 posts add to the discussion.

    I think for me it really depends who is disagreeing with me that really determines how I respond.

    i often say let’s agree to disagree .

    I know some people who find it hard to understand why someone would have a different opinion to them and they just keep at you until you say enough is enough.

    Maybe but saying right or wrong some of the friction may be avoided.

    Thanks again The rising .

    Quirky

    1 person found this helpful
  15. Summer Rose
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    7 June 2019 in reply to quirkywords

    Hi Quirky

    I agree with you Quirky, as my response to someone disagreeing with me depends a lot on who the person is.

    In my professional world ...

    If I respect the person and their skills and experience, I am more open to really istening to their views. If I trust the person, I will not only listen but give them the benefit of the doubt that they may know something I don't. If the trust is mutual, being open and honest helps.

    I often find that sharing information leads to them sharing information. And once everyone has the same information, robust and constructive discussion can occur. Doesn't necessarily mean there will be agreement but often it clears enough of a path to move forward.

    I guess the same principles should apply in personal relationships but emotion can get in the way. For me, it's a lot harder to disagree with my husband or child than a respected work colleague.

    Great topic. Kind thoughts to all

    2 people found this helpful
  16. demonblaster
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    9 June 2019 in reply to quirkywords

    Hi Quirky and everyone ☺

    I've reached a point in my life where I still want to be heard and understood as I imagine most do but not be arguing as such with people.

    I'm slowly reading through this, another excellent thread darl 👍 and agree that the reaction if a comment is delivered with disrespect and tone I too find it very hard to not react in same. Yes it escalates a situation but if we're respectful they don't have a right to treat us with contempt.

    What I'm doing these days is if it's escalating, saying to the person I don't want to argue which seems to be working but talk yes. Also to argue discuss debate with intelligence not nasty hurtful comments. It's one of my rare times I can stay on point to a degree.

    Lifes so much easier if we can discuss in a civil manner without agro.

    When I approach someone I try very hard to be diplomatic and gentle which with friends usually that works out ok because they usually know I'm not coming from a bad place.

    However there are and no doubt will always be people that get stroppy and wont listen to reason.
    I'm afraid walking away although it's a good option isn't in my make up, I'd rather stand and word it out, many times by doing that it's taken a frustratingly long time but I've managed to settle them a little and both get our points across.

    I haven't yet read through but started. May I ask how people approach as in I try tact but not always successfully.

    These are some ways I try. I'd be interested in hearing other approaches.

    • With due respect I don't agree..

    • Not wanting to get into an argument

    • Not at all wanting to hurt you but something I need to talk to you about.. I also say the truth, that I care love whichever or like them

    • I see things differently

    • I disagree. Can get walls up but its to the point

    • Or I just say gently in conversation what I think

    A lot depends on how well we know the person. Some people you can just say it and no grief others as we know it can take some work.

    Hope in your days you can find some light ☺

    4 people found this helpful
  17. quirkywords
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    9 June 2019 in reply to demonblaster

    hi all,

    Summer rose, thanks for your contribution.

    I think trust is important when listening to someone you disagree with.

    Sharing information is a great of looking at conversations and listening to different viewpoints.

    Demon blaster, thanks for sharing your ideas. I like your list of how to diffuse a situation by expressing how you feel.

    You see things differently, is a good thing to say instead of saying you are wrong etc

    When someone says I am wrong I get defensive. If they said I see some things differently to you , I would not feel agitated.

    Quirky .

    1 person found this helpful
  18. quirkywords
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    16 June 2019 in reply to demonblaster

    Something happened recently on comments to a blog on another website.

    A blog was written about a very sensitive topic and there was a warning given. The first commenter shared her opinion that maybe the topic was not suitable for the website, it was purely this persons opinion.

    Nearly everyone started attacking as they wanted to defend the blogger. People felt the first comment was trying to silence the blogger but it was one person saying how they felt uncomfortable.

    The respect went to the blogger but hardly anyone had respect for the first poster.

    So how can we remember that even when someone says something against our values and belief as long as it is not illegal or immoral, to let that different view be heard with attacking the person personally.

    Quirky

    3 people found this helpful
  19. demonblaster
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    16 June 2019 in reply to quirkywords

    Quirky hey

    Yip I've been often ganged up on with anger when people disagree. I'll take my part of blame that my walls go up when people show disrespect or anger. Dig my feet in more out of defence. Hurts

    I learnt from my late SIL 💗 about saying I see see that differently, I thought very tactful. She was talking about disagreeing with someone else.

    Any day I'd rather talk something out but that's SO common and one of the few reasons it really irks me when people follow rather than have their own mind and say so.

    The person was trying to be respectful by the sounds. Poor thing. Although if its the bloggers personal space I could see how they'd feel they're being told not to talk kind of but it didnt need to be addressed in anger esp when shes trying to help potential other readers.

    Thanks Quirky for a lovely comment at Grandies I think.

    Hope you're travelling well hun.

    Thanks always for interesting topics great conversation and how you are ☺⚘

    2 people found this helpful
  20. quirkywords
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    18 June 2019 in reply to demonblaster

    Demonblaster

    Thanks for your kind words.

    I know that mean Quirky can come out when people disagree with something I feel passionately about.

    I have to calm down take a few breaths and realise that a person has a right to their opinion no matter what I think of it.

    I know this is hard especially online when it is easy to get outraged so easily.

    DB how are you, I know you care for so many people online that I hope you take time to care for yourself.

    I may not reply to many of your posts but I do read them and am grateful for the supportive care you show others.

    Quirky

    2 people found this helpful
  21. quirkywords
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    9 July 2019 in reply to demonblaster

    Hello everyone reading,

    I am still working out how to disagree with loved ones without seeming bossy or patronising. Mind you my loved ones feel very free to disagree with me with little respect!

    I avoid conflict so I do not argue butbwhen womeone has disagreed disrespectfully with me I start ruminating andvthe feeling of being upset grows out of proportion.

    How can we respond calmly when someone has disgareed with us in a disrespectful manner.?

    Quirky

    1 person found this helpful
  22. Kiki207
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    9 July 2019 in reply to quirkywords

    Quirky,

    I also find it hard to disagree. When someone disagrees with me I automatically get very defensive and selfish. This is something I have been working on for a while, and a few strategies I use are:

    • Stay calm - The worst thing to do in a disagreement is to yell. Even if you're not calm, try to control your voice and body language. Appearing angry or defensive is a definite no-no.
    • Think before you speak - When we get mad at someone, we tend to lose all capability of thought. I know you most likely hear "think before you speak" a lot, but it really is true. Even though it's hard, it is one of the most valuable skills a person can have.
    • Accept that not everyone will agree with you - Knowing that not everyone, even your closest friends and family, won't always agree with you will help you always. Try not to 'fight back' eg. Person 1: "I think that America is better than Europe." Person 2: "NO Europe is better than America! There are so many landmarks, different cultures and views! America's just boring." Instead, try saying "Ok, but I rather Europe because of the landmarks, different cultures and views."

    Well, that's all I've got. Hope you found it helpful.

    xox

    Kiki

  23. quirkywords
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    9 July 2019 in reply to Kiki207

    Hello everyone,

    Kiki thank you so much for your very helpful step by step advice.

    I think that preparation helps but sometimes when someone presses out buttons we forget about being calm especially if that person has just been rude .

    I try to count to the or twenty and if that does not walk I excuse myself and go for a walk if that is possible.

    Thanks again for your contribution.

    Quirky

  24. Summer Rose
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    9 July 2019 in reply to quirkywords

    Hi Quirky

    This happened to me just the other day. My 23 year old neice rang to disagree with me about an issue and was rude, patronising, demeaning and generally way out of line.

    Unfortunately this woman pushes my buttons at the best of times. I wanted to be frank, honest and put her back in her place. But I didn't.

    Out of respect for my sister-in-law I listened but didn't trust myself to have the discussion. I knew I would say things I would regret.

    I opted to simply say that her tone was inappropriate and that I found her words to be highly offensive. I promptly ended the call. Left me frustrated but on the high ground.

    It's awkward between us now but it will blow over. When I'm calm I will reach out and have the discussion we need to have.

    Not a perfect approach. But, on balance, I think this was better than saying in anger what I was actually thinking at the time.

    2 people found this helpful
  25. quirkywords
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    10 July 2019 in reply to Summer Rose

    Thanks for sharing that Summer Rose and I appreciate and admire the way you were aware of your emotions and controlled them in a dignified way.

    on the phone people can’t see your face unless you are on face time, etc, but in real life I find it hard as I often want to cry .

    I think you have shown that once one has acknowledged ones feelings and has decided what to say or not say, it diffuses the anger and gives one a chance to respond at another time.

    Thanks again

    Quirky

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  26. coal
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    18 July 2019 in reply to quirkywords

    HOW CAN WE RESPOND CALMLY WHEN SOMEONE HAS DISAGREED WITH US IN A DISRESPECTFUL MANNER?

    well hello, I get this alot and I have come to the point where I ignore their behaviour and I focus on how I can get thru the incident with out causing any added pain. I will never correct their Ego and to behave the way they do these poor buggers must have mental pain. So I monitor myself to prevent my Ego getting baited.

    basically its their life and if they want to be Egocentric then I accept it and Im almost at the point where I see them a comedy act. Brutus in Popeye

    sorry if my answer is way out left field it is cause I am too. Bye

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  27. quirkywords
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    18 July 2019 in reply to coal

    Welcome Coal to this thread,

    Your answer is fine and thoughtful.

    I agree that we need to look out for ourselves and feel sorry and understand those people who are egotistical and disagree with us.

    Quirky

  28. quirkywords
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    20 August 2019 in reply to coal

    Hello all,

    I see and hear people every day being disrespectful to others just because they disagree.

    i do not like seeing people put down others and call the names because they have a different opinion.

    When people get personal and attack the person but not the topic, it really achieves nothing.

    I try to avoid confrontation when I can.

    Quirky

  29. quirkywords
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    21 September 2019 in reply to coal

    greetings all,

    I was wondering if there is anyone who like me avoids confrontation most of the time, I even apologise when I am not in the wrong just to avoid a disagreement.

    ometimes it can get me down because if you are always saying sorry, the other person the sees they are always right and you are the flawed one.

    So is there another way to disagree without starting conflict and with out saying sorry all the time?

    Your thoughts are most welcome.

    Quirky

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    Guest5643 avatar
    460 posts
    30 September 2019 in reply to coal

    Hi coal.

    Fantastic post👍

    Cheers lynne

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