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Stop Letting Arguments Divide Us — Let’s Agree to Disagree

I’ve recently noticed a trend in our society, there are a lot of disagreements happening. While I’d like to think I am imagining it, there’s constant talk about it in casual conversations, the news, and social media. It seems as though the first week of November is a particuarly hightened time for disagreements, especially when there is a contentious Presidential election.

Perhaps Agreeing to Disagree is Better?

Here’s the thing, I am a Libra. Whether you believe in astrology or not, there is one major accuracy about the descriptions used for Libras — We bring balance to the world around us. (Not in a cocky way though!)

As the only non-animal in the zodiac, the Libra scales represent balance. For myself, this means I like to understand both sides of the story. Once all factors are weighed, I usually try to help the opposing sides understand one another better. You can call me Switzerland. Or, you can say I am the person that lives in the gray area of a society that views life’s arguments as purely black and white.

The reality is, our society will never completely agree on everything. 

Agree to Disagree Definition

 As defined by Merriam-Webster Dictionary:

agree to disagree (idiom): to agree not to argue anymore about a difference of opinion.

How to Let’s Find a Commonality — How to Agree to Disagree

What am I trying to say here?

First and foremost, instead of focusing on our differences — and allowing them to divide us — what if we learned to respect one another’s perspective?

We’d probably have a better time getting along if we learned to create a safe space to express our thoughts and opinions, as well as respecting each other despite our differences. We really need to let of the need for our opinion to “win.”

Remember, your perspective is the result of the lens through which you see the world. That lens has been shaped based on your personal experiences, education, and everything you’ve lived up to this point in time. The same can be said for the person who’s opinion opposes yours.

You Can’t Force Someone to Agree with You

One thing I’ve learned over the years though, you can’t force someone to agree with you. In other words, it is nearly impossible to get someone to see the world through your lens — as you cannot share the same life experiences.

It is time we stop arguing with one another. We can force others to have the same perspective. Arguing or forcing one another to agree is not how change happens.

Bringing in Love when we Disagree

Another trend I’ve noticed in our society is that when people disagree, we automatically consider them an adversary or enemy. This is simply not the case. Emotions aside, we can absolutely disagree on an issue and still get along with one another. 

Arguing with someone to get them to see your point of view won’t work. Now, remember this important fact: Just because we do not agree, doesn’t mean we are on different teams.

Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.

Dr. Martin luther king, jr.

Real Life Agreeing to Disagree Example

By training, I am a dietitian — aka nutrition professional. I’ve spent years learning about nutrition in classrooms and through real world experiences. My unique combination of teachers, mentors, life experiences, and real world exposures while practicing as a dietitian have shaped my view of the nutrition and the manner in which I help others.

Now, the training and life experiences other dietitians are certainly going to differ from my own. Regardless of those differences, we are can absolutely agree on one thing: We were drawn to the dietetics profession because we wanted to help others through nutrition.

Since we will inevitably see the nutrition profession through different lenses, the manner in which we help others will vary. We do not all have the same approach to nutrition and helping clients. Regardless of those differences, there is no need for us to create a war with one another. When you read between the lines, I am trying to say, what works for me and my (former) clients will definitely be different than what works for a colleague and their clients.

Instead of viewing ourselves as rivals, we need to get back to basics and remember our commonality. We, as dietitians, are here to help people through nutrition.

Next time you are faced with a disagreement, consider changing your approach. Stop fueling the divide (and hate) our world has come to devour. Instead, think about how you can offer love. Think, how can you apply this approach to a disagreement with someone in your life? Perhaps you can apply it to your relationship with your life partner or other people in your home?

Wrapping it Up

Up until now, what approach have you taken when someone makes contact with you and has an opposing viewpoint?

My guess, it likely has to do with a primal urge to fight and try to get the other person to see it your way. You likely wanted them to change their mind. You are certain you are right, so there was no need for you to change your mind.

This leads me to think of another saying. Especially when we talk about wanting to change the other person’s mind…

“You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink.”

Proverb

Instead of focusing on trying to make the other person drink the water of your beliefs, try guiding them by leading the way. Walk to walk, talk the talk of what you believe. This will help you to find better results than arguing. 

I guess you can say, I am a fan of the agreeing to disagree. Maybe we would find less conflict in our world if more people took this approach. 

If we do not learn to live together as friends, we will die apart as fools.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

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