Conflict is an inevitable experience for all human beings. Even though, we have been taught to see disagreements as a negative interaction, having them with loved ones or co-workers can be a healthy and safe activity to do.
No one ever thinks about how we learn from others by expressing differences. We all come from different backgrounds and there will be ideas that we won’t agree on.
For starters, my father and uncles always disagree on politics to sports. From afar, their booming voices cue that there is an issue. Getting closer to them, they are smiling and enjoying each other perspectives.
Healthy disagreements are realistic and manageable to do. Here are reasons to change your mindset on disagreements to navigate your life better.
1. Disagreements show the longevity of the relationship.
From friends to lovers, you won’t agree with all of their actions or ideas. Healthy disagreements show independent thoughts and ideas that you can express to others. If you feel you can’t express yourself with others, it’s time to reflect or walk away.
During disagreements, the important part is how you and the other person deal with the situation.
Are you able to see how they react to the situation and do you seek to understand their point of view on the topic? This shows you can understand each other and pushes the relationship into new depths.
You see them in all phases and you will be able to realize if you can deal with them or not. People who don’t disagree properly usually sling out insults and irrelevant information.
This shows a lack of maturity and self-awareness in the person. Asking yourself this question can help you decide whether to keep this person in your life or not.
2. Disagreements create alternatives for the better.
If an individual comes to you with a problem, do you hear them out or shut them out because you feel offended?
You should hear them out to understand their woes in the situation. This shows they are comfortable enough to be honest with you and are able to be open about their issues with you or someone else.
This type of openness can help to lay the playing field and both of you can come up with different solutions to solve the problem.
Disagreements usually expose problems that have been building over time. To keep a healthy dynamic, making changes help everyone have a voice in the end.
For the workplace, disagreements can create an honest dynamic and more space for improvement. Not every disagreement has to be volatile or self-esteem-breaking.
3. Disagreements challenge your reality.
Back to my father’s anecdote, he learns so much from my views and my sisters’ commentary about the world. As a Liberian man coming to America, he has concrete values about sexuality, education, and life.
However, we challenge his values by having conversations with him where we exchange points of view. In the end, we are not trying to change his views but we want him to understand there are different perspectives that are worth listening to.
Disagreements can break your mold of reality and realize your way isn’t the only way. This can help you to learn and can keep your mind open to many possibilities.
The fear of getting a negative reaction may keep you from having disagreements. But if you are confident and present it safely, disagreements can become a positive entity in your life.
Frequent disagreements can be a red flag for any relationship. But, the occasional act of differences can show the expression of self and balance for everyone.