Can’t We All Get Along?

We seem to be living in such contentious times.  How do you disagree with another person with an opposing opinion without humbling that person, talking over them, or “winning” your point, which can only alienate that person and resolve nothing?  As Rodney King once said, “Can we all get along?”

Need a few tips?  Deepak Chopra’s How to Have a Disagreement Like an Adult in the NY Times may offer some insights as to whether you choose to engage or not, and if so, how.  He recommends listening to the other person and their values. Then formulate your thoughtful response using “insight, intuition, inspiration, creativity, vision, higher purpose or authenticity integrity.”  Take a breath, SMILE, and calmly respond.  Avoid what Chopra calls “black or white/you’re with me or against me” thinking.  If you’re being bullied, walk away; do not take abuse.  Don’t try to prove the other person wrong and don’t judge — try to be forgiving.  Finally, find a way to have a gentle laugh together, not mocking but to ease tensions.