• Bobby Dye

Agree to disagree

Should you talk until you get your point across, or just agree to disagree? Or, is agreeing to disagree simply for the sake of a friendship asinine? Let’s find out.

Relationships


We all have relationships with people. Whether with our family, friends, or significant others. Humans thrive off of social interaction. Studies show we need to attain some level of sociability. Otherwise, we run the risk of isolating ourselves, feeling alone, and void of companionship. Yet, being too sociable can prove the opposite, so much interaction that an individual never has time to reflect and gain perspective on any matter. How do we find a balance? Well, it starts with recognizing you’re not always right.


I’ll be the first to say that, generally speaking, I am one of those people who always believes they’re right. Now, I state this with a little restraint because I do feel I am typically open to others’ ideals, philosophies, and overall ways they view life. Over the past decade, I’ve gotten much better in this regard. After all, viewing situations and circumstances through a different lens broadens your perspective. It usually allows things to be much more transparent and for you to see them more vividly, without constant bias’, tainting the picture. Because when you get to look at something from both sides of the fence, you truly see it for what it is.


Disputes


With that being said, we are all imperfect. What does that mean? Well, everyone on earth falls short in some way, shape, or form. None of us are perfect, and we never will be. I believe we try our best while we are here and are ultimately saved by faith through God. With us being imperfect, though, comes challenges we often face. Perhaps the most difficult one being, we don’t always see eye to eye.


You’ll never get along with everybody, and you won’t get along with nobody, either. The closer you become with acquaintances, friends, and family, the more moral lines thin and open conversations come about. With that, comes dispute. In any relationship, arguments will happen. However, what’s most significant is the individuals in the relationship, and their ability to maneuver through those disputes, without sacrificing their moral and ethical beliefs.


We can quickly become at odds with people close in our lives because we grew in separate ways over the years, leading to changes in our ideals and the way we conduct ourselves daily. It could spell trouble if one or both parties doesn’t understand the other’s growth. Moreover, it brings to light an often overlooked sentiment, agreeing to disagree.



Agree or disagree


There’s no arguing that disputes will happen in friendships, it’s just a fact of life. But things become gray when we discuss what to do when those arguments arise. If you get into a heated discussion with your best friend, should you battle it out until you feel you’ve successfully gotten your point across or even worse, you’re not friends?


Or, should you agree to disagree, choose your battles wisely, and move on for the sake of keeping the friendship alive? The answer is neither. As with most things in life, it’s all about finding balance. The key to nixing disagreement lies in one or both individuals who represent a friendship to initiate change.

Because it all comes down to perspective and understanding, and people will not always have the same outlook as you. Maybe your friend is less positive than you, or they have anger problems. Maybe you think they are too cheery or lack the emotional intelligence necessary to hold an in-depth conversation with you. But have you stopped to think why they might be like that?


We all go through and have different experiences in our lives. No two individuals’ upbringing is the exact same, and with that, comes differences and inherent bias’ of what we think is right and wrong. We all have boundaries. I typically draw the line at the moral compass because I feel we are all born with an innate ability to tell right from wrong. Yet, I also know people have different upbringings that could’ve ultimately skewed how they viewed moral and ethical values. We must understand each situation and person is unique.


In all honesty, I’ve struggled with it. Because I often feel that my outlooks on subject matters come from a sound place of virtuous and righteous ideologies. I know I’ve researched extensively on many areas of life and am confident in my understanding of said areas. However, I must remember that simply because I have done my research, grown into a belief system, and believe I am right, doesn’t mean the next person has my same experiences and has been fortunate enough to do the same.


Sometimes we have to agree to disagree, based upon there being bigger fish to fry. If an argument is not worth having, don’t have it. Now, as mentioned earlier, do I believe you should ever agree to disagree just for the sake of friendship? Absolutely not. Because if you do that, eventually, the friendship will crumble under the weight of so many conversations ending in arguments that never got figured out. As humans, we don’t just want our voices to be heard, rather, to be understood. If anytime there is a dispute, you and your friend choose to bury the hatchet immediately, so nothing escalates, well, then that’s not much of a friendship at all, because there will be battles and hardships in any relationship.


You won’t always agree with your husband or wife, family or friends, etc. But what you can agree on is finding a solution that best meets both your needs without compromising your integrity or moral values. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve recognized that I wasn’t right in putting others down simply because I thought I was right. I didn’t give enough thought to why they came to an understanding they came to, and for that, I am sorry.


To an extent, I still do this from time to time. But I attempt to do so with much more reverence for the person. Not just for them, but how they got to a specific point in their thought process. In doing so, I feel I drastically improve my relationships because the other person feels I am trying my best to understand them, and that is all that we truly want, to be understood. I can always be better. So I am challenging myself to fight for what’s right when I should, agree to disagree when I shouldn’t, and have gratitude regardless.

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