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Agree to Disagree


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OK so is there really such a thing as agree to disagree? Is there a way to disagree politely? Lets look at this from a few angles.


First there's politeness, I think being polite is relative as it's based on cultural norms and societal nuance, we all know the age old adage about burping and how it can be deemed as rude in one part of the world and a huge compliment in others. The best way to define it is being respectful and considerate of others, well one person may want you to remove your shoes before you step past their hallway, the other may not care, hence my theory that it's relative.


Then there's agreeing, generally this happens when two or more parties align on a subject. Although there are times when people agree because they have no opinion on the matter or because their opinion differs but they don't like conflict. FYI, the latter can cause even more conflict if/when found out.


Next we have the disagree part. Disagreeing itself comes from the fact that you don't approve of what the person thinks/says or you don't believe what the person thinks/says. Now really everyone has a right to their opinion but there are times when we have to draw the line and find compromise. There is not an ability to agree to disagree in every situation particularly when a decision or a plan needs to be made.


Here's an example. There are 3 strong willed, beautiful black women who want to throw a party together. They love each other, their bond is tight but they place their priorities for the party in different areas. Now this may seem like a nice easy problem to solve, each woman works on her area of priority and it comes together at the end. However this can't work because it's one budget, 3 cultures and a want for the money to fulfill their priority. How can the food budget and the decorating budget be the same? Just because your people don't run on time, why am I having to pay extra for hall hire? Is it my fault your party includes vegans and allergies? And the list goes on. Now you could say just have separate parties but actually because of what the party is for and their closeness (both relational and physical) they would be at each others thus the need to throw it together. So we now come to the strong personalities, and truth is, herein lies the problem.

  • Compromise makes the others feel like bullies,

  • Snapback comes about because someone feels unheard

  • Silence falls and you can be sure that a decision is not going to be made on that particular subject today.

How do you get past this...well, moving forward what needs to be remembered is that you're not disapproving of or dismissing the others' opinions and you can not agree to disagree in this circumstance but you CAN disagree politely by being respectful and considerate of each other then:

  • Make a list of each person's top priority (there can only be one),

  • Break each top priority down to the one thing that cannot be compromised on,

  • Work out the cost (time, money, effort) and the rest will fall into place

This may seem too easy especially when everyone is shouting or spilling over themselves to say "I didn't mean it like that" but honestly it's the best solution and somewhere a long the line you will discover a new piece of yourself as well as establish or upgrade your conflict resolution skills. Sista's we don't have to agree on everything and a good heated debate can clear away the cobwebs of confusion and insecurity. We also can't agree to disagree in every area but we can always remain respectful and considerate of each other, putting our friendship and our love for each other first will open our eyes to the best way(s) to move forward.


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