Disagreements – those annoying irritations that throw a monkey wrench into our otherwise blissful lives and disrupt any possible chances we have of experiencing serenity and joy. Augh! “Why can’t people simply agree with me, even if they don’t, and just allow us to coexist peacefully? But, no – regardless of how right I am there are some people who will disagree simply to aggravate me. I can never win an argument and that annoys me even more!” Sound like anyone you know?
Have you even given thought to the fact that the majority of issues we argue about are ridiculously insignificant? Before I invest my time or energy into debating an issue, I ask myself, “Will this even matter in ten years?” If the answer is “no” I let it go. However, there are times when a discussion is necessary. When you and the other party disagree, is it possible to always be right and win every time? Yes, actually it is.
Ordinarily, when two people disagree, they express their opposing perspectives with the sole intent of convincing the other party to have a change of heart. They do so by imparting a very strong argument supported with verifiable facts and strong opinions. They are steadfast upon proving the other party wrong, allowing them to speak only to the degree to which they are not perceived as being rude. So unwavering are they that they will not rest until their mission is complete, even if it means continuing the discussion at another time or calling in reinforcements. Ego overrides humanity in an epic battle to the bitter end.
In my seventeen years of being married to “Mr. Right”, I’ve learned that there is a way to always be right and to win an argument every time. Let me share with you my little secret:
At the outset, consider the following:
1. Give the other party ample time to present their point of view.
2. Make certain that they feel heard, understood, and validated even if you don’t share their position. Never criticize or belittle them.
3. Be certain to always treat them with dignity and respect.
4. A key ingredient to resolving one’s differences is in making certain both parties needs are met, on some level, in some way, and within a reasonable period of time. Satisfy theirs before your own.
“OK”, you say, “I did that but they still don’t agree with me. So, in essence I didn’t win the argument at all!” (Patience, grasshopper. There is more.)
Erroneously, we concern ourselves more with being right about issues than about being right. (What, you ask?) When you do what is right, (what is in accordance with Divine Law – such as treating others with consideration and kindness) you are right -in God’s eyes. You cannot be wrong because you are extending Divine Love to your brother. When you treat others in a loving manner you garner their respect and trust. They appreciate your concern for their well-being and are very likely to reciprocate in a like manner. They become more cooperative and willing to see your point (and in some cases, even find common ground that you both agree on). You have solidified your reputation of being someone who is trustworthy, understanding, caring, and fair-minded. When you are right (with God and your former opponent), you have won trust, respect, loyalty, cooperation, self-respect, and favor with the Lord. And you have won an ally for life. Seems to me like that makes you a winner on every level.
Do not concern yourself with being right. Care instead about doing what is right and you will, ironically, be right. Furthermore, do not obsess with winning the issue. Seek instead to win an ally. But more importantly, you will win God’s favor as well.
Bonus Q and A
Q. It doesn’t matter. The answer is always “Love”.
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