Everyday we are faced with opinions that don’t match our own belief system. More and more, because of the filter bubble we choose to live in, we react with confrontation instead of curiosity.
You eat meat, I don’t.
I’m a capitalist but lean left, you are a capitalist but lean right.
You watch sports, I don’t have a clue who’s in the Super Bowl until a few days before.
You are a person who feels it’s enough already with special interest groups, I’m saying it’s just the start of any real reconciliation.
Being critical thinkers, we’ve forgotten how to disagree. Some might say the art of disagreement is dying. As if, the simple act of considering another’s story would somehow invalidate our own view or give too much credence to the opposing view.
So, how do we meet in the middle? Or better yet, how do we each travel all the way into the other person’s world?
How do I get deep into your thoughts? How do I see your worldview?
How do we allow for the possibility that what someone else says might in fact be correct?
Confrontation is the default reaction. But we won’t win anyone over by starting with confrontation and our own point of view. It’s almost impossible to convert the skeptic by yelling facts.
Instead, reach for curiosity. Ask yourself some questions when you start to feel confrontational.
Why do their ideas and opinions anger me so much?
Can they help me better understand where they are coming from?
Can I remain totally open as they take me through their worldview and how they came to it?
Could I walk away simply having been curious and spending all my energy on taking in their story and zero effort on selling yours? Now, that’s powerful.
This might feel uncomfortable for you. Sit with it, let it feel uncomfortable and simply pay attention to the emotions that come up and explore why you feel that way.
Let’s all try an open heart and an open mind. We may not all agree, but we can be open to not holding on too our stories so tightly.