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Why It’s So Difficult To Disagree Without Judgement Or Blame

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Why It’s So Difficult To Disagree Without Judgement Or Blame

Disagreeing with someone on anything is not a fun sport, except for those that have sociopathic tendencies who like to argue and fight and game on, anytime they have the opportunity. Not agreeing with someone, regardless of what the relationship is, means that you will have to (a. stand up for your beliefs, (b. face a possible argument or (c. make a choice of peace at all cost. None of them are easy and all have the price of being accountable for who you are and what you think.

We may have the best of intentions with our “I see it differently” comments which are sometimes filled with criticism and judgment, justifying them as the “right way.” But unconditional love of self and others does not condemn but observes and sometimes just agrees to disagree in respect for the other persons beliefs and/or opinions. When we’re coming from a place of love, we share and teach, using the role of curiosity, compassion, and understanding of their point of view. So why are we so unwilling to allow others to express their point of view if different than yours and quickly start taking sides in disagreements?

According to the internet experts, here are some reasons why we find it so challenging disagreeing with others without being disagreeable.

  1. We are not impartial observers of our own behavior. We see, feel and know only our point of view.
  2. Once we believe something is our truth, we unconsciously interpret anything other than that to be contrary with what we already believe.
  3. Our brains are not designed for thinking. Yes!!!!! Our minds are actually designed to save us from having to think. Our brains help us breathe, walk and talk automatically without thinking. Thinking on the other hand takes effort and time, so we fall back on our behavioral memory to guide our actions rather than think.
  4. Our brains lie to us. Now it is really getting crazy! Our brains sometimes emotionally hijack us to think one way and 20 minutes later, we discover there is no threat at all. Our amygdala, the part of the brain which controls our emotions, is designed for fight or flight. If our amygdala senses a threat, our body is flooded with chemicals to either attack or run. We are creatures of habit and if we react a certain way again and again, that response will take over before we even have the opportunity to address it.
  5. We don’t take time to reflect on what is actually being said and discussed. We are so intent on thinking about what we are going to say next in retort, that we actually don’t listen and then take a moment to put all the pieces together before we speak.

So how do you handle disagreement without being disagreeable? If you learn key opening phrases to authentically communicate from a judgment-free place, then others will stay open to your thoughts and opinions. Here are some key phrases to start your conversation with if you are not in agreement.

  1. I notice that…
  2. Are you willing to…
  3. I’m curious about…
  4. Here’s how I’m feeling, what are you feeling?
  5. Are you open to hearing my thoughts and feelings around this?
  6. Here’s what I desire for our relationship… what do you want?
  7. Are you willing to listen to my point of view, even if it may not be the same as yours?
  8. I’m feeling disappointed or not okay with…. because what’s important to me is…
  9. I think/believe that…what do you think/believe?
  10. What exactly did you mean by…
  11. I just want to understand where you’re coming from, can you say more about…?

If you notice, all the phrases begin with “I” not “You”. You are owning what you are saying and not assuming that you know what the other person is thinking or feeling. On the flip side of the coin are opening phrases that will absolutely bring about the feelings of criticism and judgment, affecting their ability to be authentic with you because they are in defense mode. Below are a few “You, You, You” button pushing conversation openers.

  1. You should…
  2. You never…
  3. You always…
  4. Why can’t you get that…
  5. What’s wrong with you?
  6. Why or how can you not see that…
  7. I’m so disappointed that you…
  8. How could you…?
  9. I can’t believe you…
  10. You are so…

Susan Z’s Verdict

We all disagree at some point over something in our life. Even with someone that we never thought we would be out of sync with, no two people think or feel exactly alike. What makes you unique, is that you do think and feel differently than others. What makes you part of the judgmental herd is the energy of the need to be right at all costs and disrespecting another’s right to their opinion


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