Many of us are required to communicate with people who think differently. Knowing how to do it effectively will prevent us from drifting into those verbal battlefields where we sometimes lose our cool and emotions are often in full bloom. However, let’s be clear: you can live together and even reach agreements with whoever thinks differently.
Napoleon said that we should not be afraid of those who think differently; Who should be feared is of those who keep silent and avoid saying what they think. Admit it, the latter is precisely what some of us sometimes do, when we are with one or more people who talk and think about things we disagree with.
We tell ourselves that it is not worth wasting time and effort. We convince ourselves that it is better to stay aside, nod and let them talk so that we can conserve our own energy and not fall into useless discussions. Now, doing this continuously would mean, for example, giving strength to unique thinking.
It is necessary to understand that our world is truffled with perspectives, ways of feeling, thinking, thinking and appreciating every reality that surrounds us. The wealth of opinions is what makes us free, knowing how to respect us makes us great. Therefore, letting our voice be heard reinforces us as people, and also our identity.
After all, dialogue is a wonderful civic exercise , where to confront ideas, relativize approaches and sometimes even reach consensus. Thus, in an increasingly complex and dynamic social scenario, knowing how to communicate with someone who thinks differently is a valuable psychological tool .
Keys to communicating with people who think differently
Communicating with people who think differently is something that must be learned. It is a core matter of life that requires voluntariness and commitment because it is not exactly easy.
Already as children we realize that, sometimes, giving a different opinion generates disputes, problems and even being pointed with the finger. As we get older, we discover other things.
One of them is to verify that some people, when they think differently on certain issues, feel not only different from us, but above us . It is as if an alternative look gives them moral authority.
In these circumstances, it is very difficult to communicate and reach agreements. What can we do in those moments? What strategies could we use if we are forced to live with someone who thinks differently?
These keys can help us.
Get ready to leave your comfort zone
The first step is to get mentalized. A feature that defines the human being is his tendency to group with like-minded individuals, with people who share similar hobbies and thoughts with oneself.
Thus, we cannot deny that if there is something that costs us is to leave precisely that comfort zone and make contact with those who think differently .
Now, the simple act of letting go of that apparent comfort to dare to confront, to dialogue, to make our positions clear is a necessary and healthy exercise. Ideas should be aired, transmitted and placed on the table to make clear positions and, if possible, even create bridges.
Think like a behavior profiler
When we are going to make contact with someone who thinks differently from us it is best not to leave anything to chance. Hence, the ideal is to be prepared and know in advance what that person is like, to know what to expect and how to act . If this is not possible, we will obtain information on the way attending the nonverbal language.
One way to gain time to study the other person is to start the dialogue by letting the other person gain ground . We can repeat the same phrases or just ask questions while collecting information from each other . In this way, we will see if he is a reasonable person or if it results in authoritarian behaviors or an inflexible thought.
Take for granted that they will not agree with you in many ways
To communicate with people who think differently we must assume two things:
- The first is that they may not agree with many of our ideas .
- The second is that we should not lose our cool about it. It is necessary to carry out adequate emotional management so as not to lose the papers when they contradict us, when the reproaches or even the criticisms arrive.
Every contrary opinion we hear should be welcomed with calm and respect . The calm mind always responds more effectively to these circumstances, and this is undoubtedly a dimension that we must work and train.
Expose yes, never impose
You have the right to make your position clear. You can and should talk about your ideas, inform the other of what you believe, what you think and what you feel.
Now, something we should never do is impose on who we have in front of what we defend . Because opinions are not imposed, they are exposed and defended if necessary, but we will never resort to the threat for others to assume our vision of the world.
If the other tries, we will face a type of violent communication; something we can not tolerate.
To conclude, communicating with people who think differently comes to understand that sometimes we will not get to cross the same bridges together . However, this does not mean that we cannot live together, that there cannot be respect, harmony and that, at any given time, far from insurmountable differences, there is even the possibility that we coincide in some aspect.
The most important thing is to remember that dialogue is a necessary exercise. Let’s avoid staying in the corner of silence, all voices deserve to be heard; Only in this way we defend our identities, position ourselves in the world and gain self-esteem. If we do it with respect and empathy, we will win in coexistence.