Liking Your Opponent
“I don’t have to agree with you to like you or respect you.”
All week we’ve been talking about disagreement, and learning to do it well. One of the best ways to do this quickly is to simply acknowledge how much you actually differ from the people closest to you.
Do you and your spouse agree all the time? Obviously not. My wife Jenny and I disagree daily, and over the last 20 or so years we even disagreed about parenting. A lot. (Now, I would certainly explain to her that I’ve got a New York Times Bestseller called ScreamFree Parenting, which proves I’m right. She, of course, would then express hope for me and that book to be very happy together, starting tonight. Suddenly, I had a new motivation for listening to her point of view.)
Do you and your best friend all agree on politics? Social issues? Religion? Football? Again, of course not.
What this means is that you already have found a way to like, and even love, those people who disagree with you. Usually, this is because the connection among you preceded the conflicts between you. But, as a mature growing adult, you can learn to respect, and even like, those you disagree with at first.
Peace begins with pause,