Wouldn’t you love an easy way to resolve conflict with others? The fact is that disagreement between people is bound to happen. And disagreement causes so much stress! We see it happen every day, especially on social media. Whether it’s online, in the news, or while conversing with a friend, whenever someone expresses a viewpoint that is different from our own, arguments and stress often occur.
Why is a differing opinion so stressful? Why do many people insist that everyone think like they do? Why should a difference of opinion cause stress? Why is it so hard to resolve conflict?
Unfortunately, I don’t have the answers to these questions. And even if I did, I’m sure some people would disagree with my ideas. Therefore, the best advice I can give in order to resolve conflict is this: Respect people’s viewpoints that are different from yours.
Resolve Conflict with Curiosity
For example, someone very close to me has totally different viewpoints than I have on a number of issues. My approach is to have the person clarify their viewpoints. I talk with them from a place of curiosity, rather than disagreement. This approach has helped us resolve conflict many times.
By not thinking in terms of right or wrong, but that the viewpoints are simply different from mine, I learn and grow and our relationship is not negatively affected. I don’t have to agree with this person, and they don’t have to agree with me. We simply need to be able to talk in a civil manner about our ideas. By doing so, we can maintain our relationship without stress and we can each, hopefully, learn some new things from the other.
In a way, people are like a box of crayons. We are all different and have varying thoughts on important topics. But just as you wouldn’t say one color crayon is better than the others, let’s not say one person’s viewpoints are better. Let’s not stress about the difference and instead let’s embrace the diversity.
In the final analysis, isn’t this what diversity is really all about?
What are your thoughts on how to resolve conflict resulting from a difference of opinion? Barring cases of extremism, what have you done to better understand another person’s viewpoint? Please share your thoughts on the Without Stress Facebook page.