Agree To Disagree

“I think we’ll have to agree to disagree,” is a phrase I find quite useful in certain situations.

At work there’s a guy who, sometimes for the right reasons and sometimes for the wrong ones, will argue with you.  You can present him with a barrow load of facts that back up your theory and disprove his but he will continue to argue his point.

Experience says that once the meeting is finished he will usually back down, but he doesn’t want it to be noticeable or in public.  Therefore a useful phrase is “we’ll just have to agree to disagree“.  Is this a good thing, though?

Normally when someone takes exception to your own position, you become defensive and argumentative and reactionary.  At work, where opinions tend to be more fact based (for me at least), I think this is OK because explanation of facts can lead to better decisions.  However, where the opinion is based on feelings and emotions, it’s easy to see that difference of opinion as a personal affront and that can damage relationships.

Few would immediately see the difference as that – a difference that forms the person.  Being able to agree to disagree can actually build greater relationships if each party is willing to understand the other’s difference in opinion.  It shows confidence in each other.

Being able to agree to disagree also shows that you’re comfortable in your own opinions and views.  Those of others are not a threat if you are comfortable with your own.  By not taking other people’s opinions personally, you are able to respond and constructively work through it.

Obviously agreeing to disagree is not always the solution.  Sometimes there needs to be compromise.  It is, though, interesting to think how your reaction to difference sometimes says more about you than it says about the other person.

I’m getting so sick and tired of the confrontation
Whenever I’m with you I’m under instigation
And this I can tell you, and you can mark my words
Yes I’m getting sick and tired of your testosterone
If you carry on this way you’ll end up on your own
And this I can tell you, and you can mark my words
And you can mark my words
So why dont you come with us, into a past time
The last time we spoke I think you crossed the line
I think you’ll have to agree to disagree this time
So why dont you come with us

Agree To Disagree by The Blue Collars

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