A difference of opinion doesn’t mean that a person is toxic. Let’s say you and your significant other have a very different opinion about politics or some other topic. You debate, discuss, and still end up at different ends of the spectrum.
This is not toxic behavior. Having a difference of opinion with someone close to you, or a complete stranger doesn’t mean they’re an evil person or a toxic person.
It simply means that they have a different opinion based on their lifestyle choices and experiences.
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I remember growing up we learned how to have healthy debates in school. I watched as students learned how to have a healthy debate in the classroom as well as during debate competitions.
Teachers would ask questions and encourage students to have a back and forth discussion debating the topic.
This was one of the biggest things I’m thankful for in my childhood education – the ability to have been taught how to have a healthy debate while maintaining a level of respect and courtesy to the person who thinks differently than me.
Anyhoo, with the world being a bit off their rocker lately, I have noticed some situations that make my heart sad.
Watching grown adults call each other names, criminally threaten each other and continue to be total jerks to each other simply because they have a difference of opinion drains my soul.
Since I can’t really change how y’all want to behave online, I thought I’d just share some tips to help you start to comprehend that a difference of opinion doesn’t mean someone is toxic, racist, or evil!
It simply means you both have lived a different life with different experiences and should each be respected for your views!
Tips to Handle a Difference in Opinion
These tips will help keep the friendship going strong and opinions being shared among people without stress, criminal threatening, or any other negative crap I’ve seen y’all do online these days.
Open Your Ears
Listen, your ears are there to listen. To truly hear someone else speak and try to understand what they’re saying takes a lot of strength and patience. This is especially hard when you don’t agree with this person and they’ve said a trigger word.
What is a trigger word?
A trigger word is something that someone says when you have a difference of opinion and it instantly sets you into an angry, sad or otherwise negative emotion.
If you plan on trying to be more open-minded and less of that person you don’t like to see someone else be, then you’re going to have to get those trigger words under control. This means to stop allowing words to trigger you in a way that you immediately reply emotionally to someone with a different opinion.
Try to pause and reflect before responding to someone who has a difference of opinion. Perhaps you could ask a question to get more insight as to why they feel or believe this way.
Asking questions will help you understand the difference of opinion easier, and while you may disagree with them, it’s okay. The approach of asking questions versus knee jerk negative reactions will help each of you see each other’s opinions and come away from the conversation with a certain level of mutual respect to “agree to disagree” on the matter.
Different Isn’t Toxic
I’m telling you right now that different isn’t toxic. If someone else believes this and you believe that, is it really toxic? I mean sure you could believe that their fueling toxicity in the world, but hey that’s your opinion. KWIM?
This person didn’t all of a sudden become toxic because they have a different opinion than you do on a topic. It’s healthy and pretty awesome to live in a world where we’re all allowed to think on our own, without some dictator telling us what to do/think/feel.
In conclusion, I disagree with a lot of people I connect with online. I’m perfectly fine with that. If I can’t engage in the conversation in a way that helps both us remain courteous with each other? I leave it alone.
I believe that we don’t need “facts” to back up how we think and feel based on our individual experiences. It’s okay if your FB friend feels completely different than you do on a topic. This is what can help each of us learn healthy debate, and appreciate each other for our differences.
My Belief About a Difference of Opinions
I believe that we can all get along on social media regardless of our individual beliefs and opinions. Living in America means that we have the freedom to live how we wish to live and think how we wish to think, so as long as we’re not committing crimes such as harming others!
Hopefully, my tips will help you listen more, appreciate your differences, and realize that you can’t put one person under a huge umbrella stereotype simply because they have a different opinion than you.
If someone doesn’t like this or doesn’t believe in that – yet they’ve been around you for years, does that really change who they are and what they’ve been for you all these years?
Think about that!