Agree to Disagree.
This seems like something we don’t like to do these days. We are so hellbent on getting people to agree with us that we form grudges on people. We go into a conversation and when someone doesn’t agree with us we immediately go into defensive mode. I’m not stranger to this. I’ve been one to get defensive for a long time. Sometimes it has meant I know i’m wrong or I’m just not willing to think someone flat out believes differently.
A couple weeks ago I was having a rather rough week for a lot of reasons. I decided to pray about things. My prayers something along the lines of “help me to be more open minded.” I’m not sure if you’ve even heard the phrase, “you don’t get what you want, you get what you need.” Or maybe, “You might get what you asked for but the package may be different than you expected.” Well, that’s pretty much what happened to me.
I was thinking I wanted all these people in my life to be open minded, not me. That’s not quite how it happened. As I played all my various podcasts looking at the titles thinking, “ok, impress me with your insight.” I felt God laughing after each one.
A year and a half ago I gave a speech to my toastmasters club about how it was really hard to let people who need your help come to you when they are ready, you impress upon someone something they aren’t ready and willing to hear. Well, that came back to bite me in the ass. Three different podcasts each in a different way said, “when try to impress your beliefs and your ways onto others, they resent it. Be the light and they might come to you eventually.” Ok, point taken.
Another said you have your opinion, others have theirs. We’re allowed to disagree with people, but maybe instead of just brushing them off and thinking they are stupid for not sharing yours, ask for context. Try to understand them. They may have beliefs, habits, or something else that they grew up with.
We can have a different opinion than someone or different beliefs than someone and still love and respect them. Matter of fact, I think we are able to accept them more when we know the context behind them and can understand where they are coming from. After all, most likely our own beliefs and opinions come from the same place. Something we were taught growing up.
When you catch yourself in a conversation with someone, instead of getting defensive. Fight your instincts, and listen. Take off those defensive glasses you love so much. Then ask them to explain, you may be interested to find out they aren’t crazy for how they think. Try to keep and open mind. You might also find that when you listen to them, they might be more open to consider your beliefs and opinions as well.
My shades of choice. They block some of the sun so that I can see what I want to see. If I take them off, I’m forced to adjust and see more of what is right in front. A different perspective if you will.