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The Lessons I Learned From Constant Disagreements

Photo by Frank Busch on Unsplash

Self Learning | Ego

Not every disagreement has to end in a fight

As a person, I have started to disagree more with each passing day. And I have been told that I am less likable now!

Well, nobody likes being told they are wrong, or even being challenged. But unless you do, there is no honesty in the talk.

Let’s take Sheldon from Big Bang Theory for example, he loves telling people they are wrong. And that should make him highly dislikable (and it’s shown that it does), but seriously who is your favourite character from Big Bang Theory? Without a second thought, I will pick Sheldon. He is a real pain in the ass, but he’s pure at heart. He doesn’t please or praise but he wants everyone to do better. He has learned a lot through disagreements and so has everyone around him.

Do you need to disagree with someone at the cost of your likeliness? Well, it’s not a tradeoff. You can have the best of both the worlds.

So, what makes disagreements important?

Help You Realise Your Biases

Everybody is biased in their closed heads. We are raised to live with so many of them and also die with some of them( hoping you shed a few while you are alive). Disagreements make you realise you have certain biases that you thought you never had.

For example, I have always had Confirmation bias, and sometimes I still do. But it’s never out in the limelight unless I am in an argument and someone points it out to me, “You are just sticking to your beliefs because that’s all you know and you are not ready to accept any ideas other than that”. That’s when it hit hard, and I thought I was an idiot to do that.

The purpose here is to understand the flaws in your decision making or judgements, you do not need to know the technical terms and which biases you have( great if you do or wanna know). Just knowing what’s wrong is enough to bring in change. If you know the problem, you can always find a solution.

Gives You A Chance To Improve

Without disagreement, you will never be corrected by your misconceptions. When someone agrees to you, you end up thinking you are right. It’s only when one disagrees, you question your beliefs.

I have often thought myself to be a non-judgmental person, but sometimes in between a talk, I slip a few judgments. And the ones around me are usually clever enough to point it out to me. But instead of being thankful, I get defensive.

Now, I have stopped doing it. Though I get irritable and try to prove why I think I am right, I often lose. And now I see it as a learning process.

The person on the other end may also recommend a way for you to improve. Or you can read and know more about how you can change your thinking.

You Become More Open To Different Ideas

I never like being challenged, I like to believe that I am right. But I got used to disagreements, and now it’s easy to be open to opposing ideas. I hated when someone questioned my opinions, I didn’t even want to talk about it. I would often say, maybe I am wrong but that’s me!

This is a wrong state of mind, I never learned with it. I got accustomed to my ego being hurt, and now it’s easy. I know that even if my ego hurts, I will come out a better person after the discussion. ( Yeah, my ego hurts a lot these days !)

Okay, so, one does grow through disagreements, but what about the likeliness which took you years to build? Nobody wants to be disliked. Well, if you can disagree the right way, you do not have to trade your likeliness.

How Not To Turn Disagreements Into A Fight

  1. Make sure you disagree with people you are comfortable with, otherwise things can often take an ugly turn ( for beginners ).
  2. Always have an open mind, be open to change, and listen to what the other person has to say.
  3. Be ready to lose, YES, lose the argument. The aim is to learn and not feed your ego.
  4. Be bold enough to let your thoughts out, only then can you correct or get corrected.
  5. Do not get impatient and keep your emotions at bay. Also, keep a check on your tone.

I have had my ups and downs with this. I experimented with distinct strategies. I often ended up not talking to my friends for days just because they thought I was wrong ( I heard it as nobody ever thinks I am right! ).

I have apologised for my quick temper and accepted that it was just my ego. It took me time, but it’s easy for me now. I no longer end up fighting, I am a better listener, and I am more open to difference of opinion. So, Let’s agree to disagree.

Honest disagreement is often a good sign of progress — Mahatma Gandhi


The Lessons I Learned From Constant Disagreements was originally published in ILLUMINATION on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

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