What To Do When You Disagree

Stubbornness is not Humility
August 10, 2013
August 24, 2013

All of us from time to time have disagreements with others whether dealing with addictions or not.  Recently I had to be “talked down” by a friend so that I would not make a fool of myself for letting emotions get in the way of facts when I wanted to respond to another person statement.  Sometimes we all just don’t care about being “nice” – we just want to get our point across and “damn the torpedoes”!  Luckily my friend was able to move me away from emotion and help me get to reason.  Just the facts!  Honestly, I was glad that happened.

So the next time I get into a disagreement with someone I plan to keep these “is nots” in mind:

Hearing is not listening.  Many disputes begin – or get worse – because people hear what others say but they are not really listening.  The three basics of good listening:  Clear your mind of distractions.  Concentrate on the words.  Pay careful attention to the nonverbal gestures, including voice tone.

Acknowledging is not agreeing.  Use acknowledgment phrases to recognize others’ positions and feelings without agreeing with them.  Examples:  “I understand why you are upset.”  “If I’ve got this right, you believe you should….”  “That’s an interesting idea.  Let’s look at it in more depth.”

Acknowledging is not yielding.  Once you acknowledge others’ views, it’s your turn to present yours.  Offer constructive criticism and allow others to challenge you the way you challenged them.  Possible approach:  “I’ve listened to your views, and now I’d like you to hear what I have to say, OK?”  “I doubt that plan will work, but here’s what we can do…”

Always make an effort to use your best problem solving skills in managing day to day disagreements.  This helps you to get the best results possible.

“In the course of my observation, the disputing, contradicting and confuting people are generally unfortunate in their affairs. They get victory sometimes, but they never get good will, which would be of more use to them.” — Benjamin Franklin

Omega J. Galliano
Owner/Therapist - MFT, LADC, LP - Meg obtained a Master of Science degree in Clinical Psychology and since college has been busy working in the behavioral health field. As a Nevada licensed marriage and family therapist, Nevada licensed alcohol and drug counselor, Minnesota licensed psychologist, and a Distance Credentialed Counselor, she has held various management positions in national corporations.