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Agreeing with Everyone

Johan Holmberg -- One form of personal growth involves learning how you can agree to disagree yet still remain agreeable.

There are two ways you can disagree with someone else and I'd like to clearly separate them from each other so that you can enjoy improved relationships with others. One of them is that you think the other person is wrong and the other is that you think he is right, but you consider it wrong in your own reality. The former way to disagree will get you in trouble and the latter will boost your relationships up a notch.

You need to remember that people always state what they believe is right, with the exception of those who deliberately try to lie and deceive. Therefore, in general, whether you think or say out loud that they are wrong, you'll just hit your head against a wall. This person doesn't want to hear such a thing and it will only lead to their ears and mind closing up rather than listening to your point of view.

Take, for instance, an acquaintance of yours saying that Celine Dion is the greatest singer of all time. Just because this statement might turn your guts inside out, from the mere thought of this singer, doesn't change the fact that this person's opinion is totally accurate. Trying to convince her otherwise has two dire consequences.

Firstly, the initial feeling she gets will be negative towards you. While this particular example isn't very personal, it's still an attack against her judgment skills. You're literally telling her that she's deluded and has poor taste. Secondly, the psychological barrier between you and her has increased. This means that you might think she doesn't have other useful information or insights to offer, and she now thinks you don't deserve to hear her opinions.

Then there's the productive way to handle this situation. Simply agreeing with this statement is not only the correct way to interpret the situation, but it will also strengthen the underlying relationship. Okay, so obviously you want to change the subject because it's making you cringe. Then all you need to do is agree to disagree on the matter and move on to something else. There's a reason why this person exists in your reality after all.

Think of it as a way to improve your social skills. The tougher it is for you to agree with someone, the greater the need for you to face this challenge. Don't choose the easy alternative of just blowing a person off and excluding him or her from your reality. You're only suppressing and weakening your ability to get along with others this way.

I've reached a point where I can get along with anyone I want simply because I don't disagree with other people's points of view. It doesn't matter if someone says they believe or don't believe in God. Either way, they're right and I can't prove them wrong. I can sit and listen to their opinions and choose for myself what I want to believe in, without treading on their beliefs or feeling uneasy about the subject.

Conclusively, I can't force you to believe and agree with what I write. That's entirely your business and not mine. You can believe that you can improve your personal development or that you can't improve it. Either way, you're absolutely right.

By constantly reading, learning, improving, questioning, and seeking new knowledge, Johan Holmberg has forced himself to attain higher levels of wisdom and consciousness. Investment, business, idea, and personal development orientated, he is more concerned about doing the right things than doing things right. His site, TheProbabilist.com, both a database and blog with a mission statement of "Improving Your Odds in Life," somehow links probability calculus with personal development. The information and insight provided on a wide range of topics are meant to open the mind, tickle the brain, leave food for thought, and challenge perceived certainties in order to make the impossible or unthinkable plausible.

© 2007 Johan Holmberg

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