Diffusing a Negative Reaction

Very few people enjoy being challenged. When we hear an opinion different from our own, a natural tendency is to be defensive. The reason is that we interpret our position as being criticized or, at least, not being recognized.

A simple way to turn this situation into an advantage is to ask yourself, “What can I learn from this person’s opinion?” The attitude of inquisitiveness enhances learning and diminishes chances of any negative, reactive feelings.

In addition, asking the following question may give insight into the other person’s thinking: “How did you come to that conclusion?”

Learning the thinking and/or thought processes of the other person often clarifies—in addition to diffusing the urge of a negative reaction.