It would be amazing to live in a world where everything is in perfect harmony, but reality counters that. There’s hardly any harmony in anything. We live in a world full of conflicts, disagreements, and differences in values, beliefs, and opinions. While it’s normal as it happens numerous times in a day at your workplace, within your family, or in a group chat, what’s important is how to deal with these differences. It’s okay to disagree; what’s not okay is to disagree disrespectfully. Instead of hurting someone’s feelings, one can always choose to respond without attacking them.
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So, let’s have a look at 7 key ways of how to respond to someone’s opinion.
Cover your opinions with facts
If you’re placing an argument, make sure to make a strong one, and facts are the way to do that. Instead of covering your thoughts with opinions, try to wrap them up with facts as it influences the other person strongly. It also suggests that you are very well informed, which compels the other person to pay attention to what you have to say. You allow yourself to be persuasive without being disrespectful. At the same time, make sure to support your data with logic and reasoning to make your statement even more convincing.
Solidify your words
Make sure to be very careful with your choice of words. Using concrete words to express your thoughts will help you outlay yourself more explicitly. People are only going to make an effort to understand you if you present your thoughts in an understandable way. Don’t try to be the know-it-all, as that portrays you to be arrogant and irritable. Avoid using absolute words like “always” as that manifests you to know the absolute truth. Try being more specific with your way of expression.
Avoid being loud
One of the worst ways of how to respond to someone’s opinion is to be loud. As they say, don’t raise your voice; improve your argument. If you feel like raising your voice will improve your chances of being influential, then it’s actually the opposite. It makes you sound disrespectful, mannerless and puts people off. Having an individualized opinion is good but try to vocalize it with a calm and firm voice, suggest communication experts at Pollack Peacebuilding. . A voice that exudes confidence is supremely impactful. So, if you have a strong point to raise, your words will do the job; you won’t have to raise your voice to be heard.
Make sure to listen
In order to be heard, you need first to listen. Remember it to be a discussion, so present your questions and listen to what they have to say. Most people keep rebutting an argument inside their head instead of actively listening to the other, which sucks the productivity out of the discussion. Being a little flexible with your opinions might also help. Paying heed to the other’s ideas might even present a better solution in your head. So, don’t just wait for your turn to respond; converse.
Use “I” instead of “You”
You might be thinking there’s hardly a difference between the two; after all, you’re conveying the same thought. Yes, you are conveying the same thought, but the way of saying it can totally change the game. Making “You” statements is a harsh and critical portrayal of your thoughts, while “I” statements make you polite. Instead of saying, “You are never able to finish a project on deadline, which ends up in us dealing with the losses.”.
Try structuring your words as “I know what you mean, but we aren’t left with a lot of time till the deadline.” The difference between the exhibition of the two sentences is pretty evident. You can be articulate, just without being attacking.
Don’t make personal remarks
When it comes to how to respond to someone’s opinion, try not to throw any personal remarks. Getting personal with someone, especially in a workplace, is the point when the argument will start getting heated up. And more importantly, by getting personal, you allow them to do the same with you, which makes the situation ugly. Attacking someone based on their beliefs or values is one of the most unproductive approaches to have an argument. One can always enunciate their ideas effectively without poking holes in the other person.
Don’t shut people down
Shutting someone down while they’re presenting an opinion is one of the most unhealthy approaches to how to respond to someone’s opinions. If you have a solid point to make or a valid question to ask, share them. But intentionally shutting the other person up because you think you have something better to say is supremely self-centered and inconsiderate. Argue to get your point across and to learn something new. Don’t argue for the sake of arguing; with that; you’ll end up ruining your relations with a lot of people.
Learn when to let go
Arguing doesn’t always mean one has to agree or accept the other person’s share of opinions. And mostly, it ends the other way around, which is why the catchphrase “agree to disagree” makes so much sense. If you feel like things are going south or there’s just no end to this argument, learn to call it quits. You both feel strongly about a certain point, and it’s very much okay to let them live with the belief they hold. You might feel like your pride just got a beating, but sometimes the best way to end things on a better note is to walk away.
Bottom Line on Responding to Someone’s Opinion
Being in a place where individuals of different backgrounds, belief systems, cultures, and values are working, differences are inevitable. What matters is how you present them. There’s always a wrong way that can ruin your entire connection with each other, and there’s a good way that can allow you to perceive the other person’s opinions and, respectively counter-argue. Our tips mentioned above can be constructive in responding to someone’s opinion without attacking them.