“Agree to disagree.” Have you said this? Better yet, do you really believe it’s possible? If we could do this in our world it would be amazing, but let’s start with our relationships.
When you disagree with a loved one or a friend, do you dig your heels in, get defensive and argue your point? Do you thoughtfully and respectfully, listen to their viewpoint? Do you say nothing?
When someone takes exception to your views, it’s difficult to not see them as invalidating your thoughts and feelings. You may seem them as attacking you or disloyal. And if in the moment you view them this way, the danger is you begin to see them as an adversary in general. As someone you need to protect yourself from and strike back against. We feel less safe emotionally and more guarded in sharing our feelings.
You can see this can become a very slippery slope! When we disagree with our partner or friends, we need to remind ourselves that differing opinions are not a threat. Not agreeing with someone doesn’t mean they are dismissing your feelings or you, for that matter.
Remind yourself that it can be okay for people to think differently than you (and you differently from them). The harmony of your relationship isn’t necessarily at risk because you have differences. In fact, feeling like it’s safe to share our different views, actually creates intimacy and closeness. It’s not only okay to agree to disagree, it’s good and healthy.
**Eric has his Masters in Counseling and when not on B105.7 works as a private practice counselor.**
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