What did you accomplish today? Well, the kids are still alive. Excellent. Apparently this year is being written by Stephen King. Are you like 2020% done? Perhaps you constantly fight with your family or friends these days, trying to convince them to be more cautious, or that the CV pandemic is not as serious as the media would have you believe. “The lockdown should end or should never have started,” he shouts. “We need to still socially distance and stay home,” she claps back.
Your face is turning a shade of red and you feel your heart racing as they express their opinion, which you wholeheartedly disagree with. Well, it turns out that although we may think good looks, lotsa money, and status are all so impressive and voguish, in fact, shared values is one of the best indicators that your relationship has staying power. Of course, you need not see eye to eye on every belief in the universe; but how exactly do you disagree when you disagree?
“Look, I’m trying to rant here. Stop interrupting me with facts and reason.” Please resist the temptation to be sarcastic, to make that snarky comment, or to name-call those who fail to agree with you. It’s not personal, even if it may feel as though it is. We humans all have different backgrounds, temperaments, likes, and dislikes. It’s all right to have a difference of opinion at this fragile time. It’s fine to have your passionate views, but please make sure your friend feels heard and respected, as well. The volume of your voice does not enhance the validity of your argument. And don’t forget: An apology is the superglue of life. It can literally repair just about anything.
You promised yourself you would do things differently today, so you’re sitting at the other end of the couch. Sheesh. What’s that? You just did a big load of pajamas so you would have clean work clothes this week. Now, you’re really ready for that two-hour fight about whether or not you’re fighting.
“The difference between pizza and your opinion is that I asked for the pizza.” Uh, oh. A solid argument is based on facts, not feelings. Present your ideas without trying to poke holes in hers. Even if you are of a different mind, please try to find a nugget of wisdom in his point of view. Be accepting, not accusatory. Always blame softly but praise loudly. Above all, connect your difference of opinion with a higher purpose. Do we not share a goal and purpose of seeking truth and harmony, after all?
We all have that one family member. Arguing with him is like reading a software license agreement. In the end, you ignore it and click “I agree.” But truly, please try to validate his point of view; and repeat it back to him – even if you take issue with it. After all, you are offering your slant, side, and school of thought – not Biblical truth. Stay humble, sweet friends. Display curiosity about her views. Please try to be open to hear other positions and perspectives. You never know. You may just evolve your way of thinking about this topic. Or you may learn something new about her. Remember: War does not determine who’s right, only who’s left.
“Hey, come over to my side of the argument. The view is so clear from here.” Please do not channel your inner three-year-old when differing or arguing. Remind yourself: Losing that argument is better than losing that friend. Be selective in your battles. Peace is always better than “right.”
To be honest, many of us get excited about the novelty of someone who may seem so different from us. And while it may be novel and entertaining for a bit, if you sing a different tune about core values in life, you may not be able to keep that friendship afloat in the long run. Quick tip: Marry someone who has a different favorite cereal than you do, so they won’t eat all of yours.
No need to avoid the differences, sweet friends. Sometimes the price tag of not having that talk is even higher. Hot topics get to the core of our personalities. If we avoid them, then we do not really know each other. The truth is that it is easier to fight for your values and virtues than to live up to them. Don’t be afraid to get a better understanding of your friends and loved ones. Talk to them, but please do not lecture. What’s the definition of a college professor? Someone who talks in other people’s sleep. Okay, just kidding.
There are two theories to arguing with a woman. Neither works. But seriously, if you’re not sure if he feels comfortable talking about something, ask him if you can ask about it. Not everyone wants to hear an alternative perspective, and that’s okay, too. Try to find at least some areas where you agree. There are no winners or losers here. Take a deep breath after you make your point. Let those heated emotions settle. Want to enlighten a loved one or even change their mind perhaps? Don’t quarrel or quibble. Always argue with grace. Remember, it takes two to fight, but only one to end it.