Relationships

4 Ways to Respond to Difference of Opinion


We are all imperfect human beings who live our day to day life fueled by varying emotions. Social media seems to have provided us an outlet to respond quickly, before thinking. It seems somewhere along the lines a difference in opinions has become a bad thing.

When someone uses their personal online space to express their opinion on a sensitive subject matter, they may find themselves being attacked.

I am seeing more and more verbally abusive comments as each day passes. With the pandemic hitting us in 2020, the arguments have become even more obvious, damaging, and quite frankly, disturbing. No longer are we a free society! Able to live our lives as we see fit, nope, a group of people has been rewired to think that everyone must feel, think, live, eat, and breathe the way they do in order to be “respected”.

This is unacceptable.

When did the USA become a place where people feel it’s OK to destroy another person’s life? If they’re not harming you personally if they’re just living their life the best way they know how, then why do you think it’s acceptable to ruin them just because you have a difference of opinion?

How would you feel if someone destroyed your life, your family, your children? If someone destroyed everything that you worked hard to provide for your family?

I’m sure you wouldn’t like it.

I’m sure you’d call it exactly what it is …

It’s called cyberbullying and adults everywhere are doing it just as bad, if not worse than teenagers do.

What is Cyberbullying?

Typically cyberbullying is using an electronic format to send harassing, intimidating, and quite often threatening words to another human being. Cyberbullying is usually done in text format and oftentimes results in leaving the victim feeling a multitude of negative emotions.

Cyberbullying can happen in all age groups and appears in many different ways.

As of late, we’ve seen cyberbullying happen in the online world. A community of people who were once thought to have mutual connections because of a business; the blogging industry. The community was mostly supportive, mostly open to all walks of life, and a mostly positive community to be a part of.

That was in 2008 to about 2014, from there it just started to slide downhill. Slowly at first, and now in 2020, it’s gone bat shit crazy!

To be honest. I’m watching people destroy other people. People are playing the whole, “You can’t be friends with them if I hate them” card; which by the way, is like high school behavior and most of these women and men are well into their adult years!

I don’t get it, I wasn’t raised to bully others.

I’ve been hurt enough in this life, I cannot imagine trying to purposefully inflict this type of pain onto another human being, ever! Many of those who bully have also been hurt in this life, yet here they are inflicting the same pain onto others.

If you dare to have a difference of opinion as someone else on social media, you’re out! It doesn’t matter if you’re a news anchor, a blogger, a parent, a simple person living their own life —> you are out if you dare speak a different view than some of these people.

This is what cyberbullying looks like in the blogging and social media world right now in the year 2020.

What are the causes and effect of cyberbullying?

There are many causes and effects of cyberbullying. I’ve seen a young kid have his life destroyed by the media. The media! They destroyed a MINOR CHILD’s life for no good reason. There isn’t ever a good reason to spew lies about someone and destroy their life. Period.

With that being said, he was able to sue the mainstream media and win. I’m sure we’ll see more of this in the coming years. I’m not on any side except the human beings’ side.

Cyberbullying can push a person into the deep end of depression fueled with anxiety and this utter feeling of helplessness. They could commit suicide or get into drugs to help cope with the pain that YOU out there inflicted on them. This should be something everyone thinks about before responding to a difference of opinion.

Think about how you’d want someone to respond to you. Think about what’s best in this situation. In all honestly, I just scroll on by if I don’t like what someone is saying.

If I have nothing valuable to add to the conversation, then why engage?

They’re free to believe, think, and feel what they want.

No one needs “facts” to back up what they believe.

An opinion isn’t based strictly on facts.

It’s based more so on experences, in my opinion!

And that is OK!

I know what you live isn’t going to align with what I have lived or experience. That doesn’t mean we have the right to argue about our opinions, or attack, cyberbully, and harass another person!

Opinions are based on experiences. No two people have the same excact experiences!



What Are Differing Opinions?

Differing opinions are when someone in your life or someone, in general, has an opinion or thought on something that isn’t what you have on the topic.

It can vary in how differing their opinion is and how someone reacts to this as well as how severe the situation can be. Some common examples of how you can notice someone has a differing opinion include the responses “however”, “I disagree”, “that’s unjustifiable”, “I don’t think so”, and so on.

When you recognize a differing opinion you can then work to learn how to handle that or how to react in a healthy way. This occurs very often since so many people have such diverse experiences and therefore form different thoughts and opinions on topics.

How Do You Resolve An Opinion Difference?

Resolving a situation where you have a difference in opinion with someone else depends heavily on how much or little you want to do to find that solution.

Many people get along with each other even when they have differing opinions on topics and learn to simply respect the other person’s opinion and move forward. However, a great way to learn more about how you can resolve this difference is to pause and take some time to listen to both sides then figure out what you want to do.

You can decide to move past this, figure out a common ground by trying to find some understanding of each other’s opinions, and much else.

It’s important to approach this process with a calm mind and try to communicate as best you can in order to be able to find some common ground or solve the opinion difference.

How to Respond to Difference of Opinions

Since not a single soul is a perfect person, cyberbullying can happen quite by accident. Whether an accident or not, it’s still unacceptable.

When we allow our emotions to run our responses, we often find ourselves guilty of being bullies.

With social media just a fingertip away from us, it’s easy to allow emotions to run our world.

There are many ways one can respond to a difference of opinions without being a cyberbully.

Molecular Hydrogen

Response Ideas for Difference of Opinions

  • “Interesting. Do you mind if I attempt to explain my opinion on this topic based upon my own personal experiences?”
  • “While I don’t agree with your view on this topic, I will respectfully disagree and hope that you take the time to research and open your mind to the current state of our nation.”
  • “Do you mind if I express why I feel completely opposite about your stance on this topic?”
  • “Based upon my experiences of <insert experiences here>, I have to disagree with how you feel and say that this makes me feel sad to know there are still people who feel this way on this topic.”

Why Responses Matter

The few samples provided above work to engage the person who has a difference of opinion in a positive way. The person may feel more apt to let you explain your view on the topic or politely decline.

If they politely decline your invitation to discuss, then respect their response and walk away from the conversation.

There are people who are very passionate about their opinions and do not want to hear the other side. While you have a right to feel this is unacceptable, they have a right to live that way too.

While you may be frustrated at what you feel is ignorance or hate, attacking this human being is never acceptable from any person of any age. 

The world would be a more peaceful place if more of us started respecting another human being’s right to have their opinion.

Just because someone spewed out something that they will not follow along with, will not partake in and do not believe in doesn’t mean you have to tell them that they suck, they are pigs, and their children should be pitied.

That type of name-calling and family shaming falls under the category of cyberbullying.

Congratulations, you just became a bully; how does that make you feel?

I leave you with these questions to ponder …

  • How would you handle your child calling someone a name because they don’t believe in the same things?
  • What would you say to your child if they decided that swearing, name-calling, and family bashing was a smart response to a difference of opinion?
  • When you look in the mirror each day, does it feel good knowing you threatened, intimidated and put down another human being?

If each of these questions doesn’t help you to pause before typing or writing a full FB update to put another human being down, then I don’t know what will help.

All I do know is that we are all guilty of typing or speaking before thinking.

Sometimes silence is not a bad thing at all.

Silence is a way to show that you are a bigger person and will find another way to educate others to help sway them to see your way of life.

Let’s learn to have open-minded discussions, that’s how things get resolved and occasionally opinions change.

Working as a Team

Let’s face it, when it comes to effective communication and trying to respond to a difference of opinion, emotions get in the way. The ultimate goal for everyone involved is to have others hear what they have to say.

Bullying and name-calling aren’t going to open another person’s mind to hear your side.

Also, it’s important to note that you don’t have to change another person’s opinion to get them to hear you.

Below you’ll find additional ways to respond to a difference of opinion so that you can save your relationship whether a romantic one or friendship one from having a difference in opinions ruin the connection.

Find a Common Ground

When you have a difference of opinion, you should always start communication from a place of a common goal. Perhaps you have conflicting opinions about a subject, but you both have a similar end goal.

Start the discussion by finding common ground.

Create a Positive Environment

Stop trying to communicate in text. Social media is the last place to try to resolve conflict or discuss a difference in opinion.

Why?

Because we read text based on how we are feeling.

This creates a high level of defense and emotional responses as opposed to a sit down in a positive environment where two people can see each other’s facial expressions and truly hear what the person is saying.

Support with Objective Data

If your difference of opinion has some data to back up how you feel, it’s important to give objective data. This would be data that doesn’t swing one way or another, it would be some sort of data that helps you prove the common ground point or that there is indeed a problem/issue.

This is going to be difficult because the internet has opened the doors to people having a lot of fake news and it’s difficult to weed through the fake for the real news and data.

At the end of the day, it’s important to know that a difference of opinion shouldn’t ruin a friendship or relationship. The beauty of human beings and living in the free world is that we all can feel and think how we wish.

It’s time to start thinking for yourself and be proud that you have your freedom to think as you wish.

Give others that same respect, to have their own mind and thoughts.

We the people matter, we the people need to unite amongst our differences to make a true difference in this scary world!

Responding to Different Opinion FAQ

How do you deal with differences of opinion in the workplace?

If your difference of opinion has some data to back up how you feel, it’s important to give objective data. This would be data that doesn’t swing one way or another, it would be some sort of data that helps you prove the common ground point or that there is indeed a problem/issue.

What can I say instead of my opinion?

“While I don’t agree with your view on this topic, I will respectfully disagree and hope that you take the time to research and open your mind to the current state of our nation.”u003cbru003e

How do you politely give an opinion?

“Do you mind if I express why I feel completely opposite about your stance on this topic?”

How do you express an opinion example?

“Based upon my experiences of u0026lt;insert experiences hereu003e, I have to disagree with how you feel and say that this makes me feel sad to know there are still people who feel this way on this topic.”

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