Agreeing to Disagree: A Lost Art Part II

In the second half, I propose some ideas and strategies to help facilitate a more peaceful way to debate, and to get along over the holidays, and honestly, any time of the year 😉

Really Listen to What The Other Person is Saying

As said in the part I, really make the effort to see why they hold the views they doIt’s not because they want to sound like an ignoramus and don’t care if their idea is immoral or foolish! People often have heartfelt reasons, aside from the virtue signalers, for their opinions and beliefs. Maybe they had a bad (or good) experience related to the issue (ex. “My brother was mistaken for a criminal….”, “I’ve known many awesome Syrian refugees through my charity work…”). This doesn’t mean their views are correct, but one can appreciate better where they’re coming from and why they hold them.

Criticize the Ideas, Not The Person Holding Them

Ad-hominem attacks get you nowhere! They prove nothing, and only create more tension, division, and a resolve to not listen to your points! Screaming “Well, you’re a racist bigot!” will not convince Uncle Steve to change his mind about welfare policies… Supplying statistics to the contrary, or citing sources for your side of the argument however, will get you much farther. You can pummel an idea into the ground all you want, but the person holding them still deserves common courtesy and respect.

Consider Their Points, Don’t Just React

A knee jerk reaction does nothing for you either! Letting emotion cloud your rational mind weakens you tenfold in any debate! Don’t virtue signal some superficial slogan, actually consider what they’re really saying, not just your automatic straw-man of what they’re saying… 😉 (Ex. Shouting “No one is illegal!!!” When the person meant one’s immigration status, NOT one’s humanity!)….

Never Cross The Line Into Insults or Threats!

This one is a must! Ad hominem attacks, again, get you no where and will only get you an enemy! In addition however, actually threatening people crosses so many lines! People should not be afraid to voice their opinion due to fears of violence, ostracism, lost jobs, etc..etc… People don’t deserve to have their families terrified, their reputations smeared, or vile insults hurled at them or again, their families due to disagreements! And yes, even their children attacked! How would YOU feel if it were you and your family??? If you don’t stand up for others being attacked, then who will stand up for you when your opinions are targeted?…

Pick Your Battles

Sometimes, it’s okay to agree to disagree… Not every issue is worth getting into a deep debate about and drain your energy! Not every comment at dinner you want to refute has to be 😉 Save the debate for issues that really matter to you, comments that really get to you, not just irk you a little. Don’t be a snowflake offended perpetually and having to start a fight to “correct” those who “trigger” you with their “microaggressions”! Save the righteous indignation for a better time, a better occasion than Grandma’s dinner, or your friends’ hangout, hold your tongue at the work New Year’s party etc…etc… Just let the loonies rant away, while you remain classy and diplomatic!

Don’t Bring It Up!!!

There’s a time and place for politics and religion! A mixed gathering often isn’t the time! The debate team, a blog, activism, in the classroom on the subject, around like minded people, and such can be 🙂 Work, that party, the holidays and other family events… not so much! No matter what sides we’re on ideologically, I hope it’s a non partisan thing to say we should try to find common ground with people and learn to get along and allow many viewpoints! The real “diversity” we need to advocate for, is diversity of thought!

I hope this list helps, and please, add your own ideas, experiences etc… in the comments! 🙂

Image result for polarized nation political cartoon

(Finding common ground is a pro tip!!!)

10 thoughts on “Agreeing to Disagree: A Lost Art Part II

  1. Excellent points. I don’t know how many times I’ve “bitten my tongue” in social situations. A party is going great and suddenly someone can’t contain their derangement for even a few hours and begins the inevitable conservative-bashing. I usually just do as I did with all Democrats – I #WalkAway. I save it for a more appropriate time/place for such discussions. Your friend’s carefully-planned party is NOT going to be made better by a political brawl that will ultimately end up with some SJW shrieking “Racist!” or “Nazi!” and ruining it all for everyone else. With the Loony Left always on the look-out for opportunities to harass and harangue, it’s far too easy to trigger them with facts when their feelings are all the truth they need to begin making complete asses of themselves. We don’t have to play into their game, and in fact we are saving ourselves a lot of trouble by not engaging them because no amount of reasoning will ever sway them from nursing their bruised egos that are still smarting from losing over two years ago. You can always disabuse them of their wrong beliefs on January 2nd when the holidays are over and no one’s good time is going to be curtailed by it 😉.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Extreme anything isn’t good. But the problem is the media and left pushes a lie to an extreme. All people right if centre even are all members of the alt right and likely support the KKK.

    But people on the left have no association at all or responsibility for their members that are communist leaning and various extreme views

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I try to point out why a policy will fail in a way that will harm people. For immigration I try to point out how it isn’t fair for all the foreign workers that come over to Canada being ripped off and lied to by brokers to get a job here. Only to pay back a large loan over years and supporting family back home. Hoping after years to being other family members over to be with them.

    Or others will jump the line and just come here and live off the system.

    Worse to me it makes it so people will look at even migrants that went through all the legal hoops as ones that hurt the system too. So I don’t see it as not helping others in the world but as making it so those that move here don’t get mistreated in society.

    Then from there depending on their response if they will actually listen and talk you bring the argument to areas they like.

    But my province isn’t a fully left province and never has been there has been a mix of views

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Another excellent take on how to unite America! I used to fall into many of the traps you described until our political views were becoming a distraction to the love between father and son. When I recognized the damage it was doing we agreed to disagree and backed off from ANY political discussions! We are both much happier now. Just wish I had your articles to send to him so we could agree to your points and gotten there sooner! Fine job I hope everyone follows your advice!

    Liked by 3 people

  5. Too bad everyone can’t follow these guidelines. It would eliminate so many conflicts and riots to say nothing about ruined family get togethers. Unfortunately many people can’t see past their own prejudices to the other side of the issue.

    Liked by 3 people

  6. Oh, my goodness!

    Another great post. Reading through it, I found myself thinking of so many instances over the years, and how frustrating it’s been. To the point where I’ve basically thrown in the towel and given up trying to have an intellectual debate with certain mindsets (almost all leftists, but a few on the right, too)

    What you’re talking about are the basic fundamentals of argumentation. They are essential in debate and the exchange of ideas. My experience, however, has shown me that leftists don’t seem to think it applies to them, but demand it of anyone who disagrees with them.

    1) really listen to the other person: This is a big one. So many times, I’ve tried to have a conversation with leftists (I’ll stick to them, because they are by far the majority of those I’ve had these experiences with), listening to why they say, but when I try to explain *my* position, the most common response is to completely twist what I’ve said into something else entirely. A typical illustration would be: “I think we need to protect our borders from illegal entry” gets twisted into “you are against all immigration.”

    2) criticize the idea, not the person: This one is like the first rule of debate, IMO. The problem is, I find that simply disagreeing with leftists is interpreted as a personal attack. You wouldn’t believe how affronted some of them can get (actually, you probably would believe it. *L*) when, for example, they post some meme or whatever on Facebook, and I dare disagree in the comments. They, on the other hand, have NO problem personally attacking me – and when I point that out, they get offended and say that no, they haven’t. Really? You just painted me as a racist/bigot/homophobe/fill in the blank because I challenged [fill in topic here]. How is that not a personal attack? On social media, what often follows is, I end up with about half a dozen people on the original poster’s friends list joining in, all attacking me for disagreeing with the original post, sometimes even having side conversations about what a terrible person I am and why did so-and-so even bother responding to me, when they know I’m ‘like that’, etc. It’s bizarre to see!

    3) consider their point, don’t just react: Another one I find expectations to be very one sided! I must consider their point (which I try to do), but they don’t have to consider mine, because they already know what it is (see #1 above), better than I do. And Oh! How they react! Pure emotionalism! Filled with straw men, red herrings, goalpost moving, distractions, no true Scotsman, non sequitors and ad hom attacks, every step of the way. It gets very tiring!

    4) no insults or threats: This is one I see on both sides more equally. From my observations, though, it’s been the default position on the left for so many years, the right is finally getting tired of it and responding with similar emotionalism. In my experience, leftists generally start with insults and mockery. I will admit, I have increasingly given up trying to debate, and resorted to mockery. I am careful to mock the position, however, not the person, and never use vitriol. What I’ve found is that leftists can dish it, but boy, they sure can’t take it! As for threats, nope. Never.

    5) pick your battles: yeah. This one can be hard to follow. Especially on social media!

    6) don’t bring it up: I would add, don’t allow yourself to get dragged in, either! My mother is someone who will *always* bring it up. She has a whole list of hot button topics she brings up, and it’s very hard to distract her away from them. At least with her, I can attribute much of this to an un-diagnosed mental illness. 😦

    Liked by 3 people

      • This has been my experience as well. Lady of Reason has excellent advice, but like you said, it takes two. I have a unique problem in that even tho myself and my in-laws are both conservatives; the cultural differences cause the very same problems as does the differences that plague liberals and conservatives. They are from a small town of 2000; I am from NYC and lived there 45 yrs and here only 12. I more often than not eventually lose my cool. Myself, I’m not a fan of too far left or right as that often leaves one too far out in left or right field to really hear or see whether the batter struck out, or if the call was a ball; or he merely bunted.

        Liked by 2 people

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