Seeing eye to eye

Ostrich faces off with obscure bird.


We don't always see eye to eye with friends, family or colleagues.

It's something that can be a big source of stress. I've been considering the best way to deal with this in my life and I think the following is an almost exhaustive list of the different approaches that could be taken. I think about arguments a lot - through studying law, I'm pretty much engulfed by them. When they start to creep into my personal life, it sometimes feels like a little bit too much.

1. Avoid

Sometimes, I've found it tempting to deal with disagreements by not bringing them up. A lot of the time this has felt like the best option, especially around people I don't know that well. In some instances, avoiding topics of disagreement probably is a good idea. Constantly finding areas of disagreement is not going to win any friends...

In spite of this, I've found that there needs to be a balance because avoiding any area of disagreement means I don't end up standing for anything. The difficult question is how to get the balance right. My current approach is to state my view, as succinctly as possible, when areas of disagreement naturally come up. 

2. Argue

What do you do if you decide not to avoid the topic? One option is to yell insults at someone to reassure myself that I am completely correct. I suppose an argument doesn't have to be like this. An argument doesn't have to dissolve into a joint tantrum... but it often does. Arguing does have the advantage of allowing me to vent emotions but beyond this it seems to achieve very little. 

3. Discuss

I suppose discussing a disagreement could also be considered an argument. The distinction I am trying to get to is an acceptance of the other person's view. Focusing on the outcome that is desired, giving each person a chance to articulate their position and being willing to change one's mind. Discussing something respectfully is a much better approach than an argument as previously described. 

I do try to do this one but I don't always succeed.


Tagged in Student life, What messes with your head