We’ve all got different experiences in life that have shaped our own individual view of the world, so it’s likely that at some point we’ll come across those who we don’t see eye to eye with on certain topics, and sometimes we may have extremely opposite or different views.

In today’s world it has never been easier to find those people, with communications and social media connecting more of us than ever before. So whether it be in real life or online, what is the most effective way to disagree with someone else? Or, more importantly, what’s the best way to not disagree with them?

Not listening – This is the most common mistake that people make when having a debate. They only hear part of the other perspective before they start concocting their opposing view, when in fact they’ve missed the full point of view of the other side which may have altered their own response.

Repeating statements or questions – Very much linked to not listening, if you fail to hear the full response to your first time of asking the question, then immediately jump in with the same question again, you’ll never hear the answer. This is often used by people who are trying to simplify their argument into a polarised response rather than appreciating they huge grey area in between.

Changing the subject being debated – When people begin to feel they have been proven wrong about the initial disagreement they will move the goalposts more and more until the debate morphs into something else. This can be confusing as there is no conclusion to the original discussion and it could continue evolving indefinitely.

Avoiding answering questions – The opposite to repeating questions, if you don’t even acknowledge a question then this can be the catalyst for the question to be repeated.

Raising your voice – Another common tactic used instinctively by those who feel they’ve not been listened to or by those who haven’t listened to the other perspective. This can often be the beginning of the end as the volume gets needlessly louder and louder because emotions take control rather than reason.

Interrupting and talking over each other – Another pointless effort that can be the undoing of any debate. If you haven’t listened to the full perspective of the other person before jumping in with your opposing viewpoint then it’s likely the other person will do the same in order to finish what they were saying. This is a major cause of raised voices.

Overly long and complex answers to sound more intelligent – While volumes are still low, if you answer a question with too much detail that is difficult to follow in order to confuse the other person, then it could be a catalyst for an interruption or repeated questions.

Mind-reading – If you only hear part of the other argument and assume the full viewpoint or experience of that person, then tell them what you think they’re thinking without them saying it, then it’s likely to cause an emotional response, raised voices and the end of a civilised debate.

Using logical fallacies – These are common tactics based on emotion rather than logic, so are worthless in their integrity as an argument but can be effective as they first appear to make sense. You can find out more about these at this link – https://thebestschools.org/magazine/15-logical-fallacies-know/

So now you’re aware of how not to disagree, and I’m sure you recognised some of these in your own confrontational experience, you can begin to stop yourself falling into these behaviours in the future, instead having a calm discussion to reach an amicable conclusion and compromise.