So often we are in conversations with people with whom we don’t agree 100%. In fact, if you think about it, how many people on this planet do you agree with 100%? Or even 75%? Actually, it’s far less common to agree than it is to disagree. But you have to be willing to admit it.
We agree outwardly just to “keep the peace”, even though we disagree with what’s been stated. In today’s culture, we are constantly forfeiting our authentic opinions to avoid a conversation that could be awkward and possibly escalate to an argument. And, heaven forbid, we offer a controversial opinion, it is rarely responded to with pleasantries or friendly consideration. In an era where communication has become conflict ridden, how do we engage in meaningful dialogue about important matters and leave everyone empowered in the process?
I believe, and I’ve been told by people I respect greatly, that we have to give up our righteousness when communicating. We can (and should) have an opinion, but effective communication is not righteous, in other words, condemning of another’s opinion. And, by the way, it certainly helps to maintain our sense of humor during these “challenging” exchanges. So, in your next awkward, difficult and perhaps sticky conversation, I recommend you simply infuse it with a sense of humor, be authentic, and, at the end of the day, it’s probably not life or death. So be open. We can all learn from each other in the process!