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Seek to understand

People tend to disagree when they don't understand each other. That does not mean you have to agree, just that you're open to hearing them out.

When you come to an understanding that most of us are more alike then we are different, you can begin to tolerate and accommodate--even appreciate--a different point of view

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MORE IDEAS FROM THE ARTICLE

Look beyond your own triggers

Whatever may have happened in your past, you have to find a way to get past your triggers and see that you're in a new situation with a person who doesn't mean you harm. What's triggered is usually fear and awareness of one's limitations.

Look for common ground. When you concentrate on differences the space grows wider, but when you seek out what you have in common it helps bridge the gap.

Be a good listener

A good listener gives their full attention, asks for clarification when necessary, and can listen to different opinions without becoming defensive or argumentative

The best way to listen is to be silent. That's when you can learn.

It's easy to start making accusations, laying blame and making excuses. Be honest with yourself and take full responsibility for your own feelings, and for your interpretations that may have contributed to the breakdown.

In times of intense disagreement, it's not uncommon for one or both parties to have one foot out the door. If you want to truly get to the heart of the matter, make sure the other person understands your commitment to the relationship. Even if you have an issue with the behavior, you have to keep that separate.

Use positive language

If you speak in negatives, you will hurt the person and shut them down. if you can bring positivity to what you are trying to say, it's far more likely that you'll be heard, and that the disagreement can be resolved more quickly and easily.

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RELATED IDEAS

Take the time to gather facts that support the opposite point of view.

Ask yourself, “What if I’m wrong?”. This will strengthen your argument by anticipating questions, or you’re going to learn something new and take a more nuanced position.

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IDEAS

Usually, arguments initially center around a specific topic/disagreement/response that made a person upset. If allowed to continue, the argument can become heated, accelerating quickly to personal attacks.

Make a concerted effort to imagine it unfolding before it actually does — and then nip it in the bud. 

Aporia is an ancient Greek concept of realizing that our interpretations and beliefs don't lead us to the truth.

Winning an argument isn't the goal, and true wisdom is to have big, deep conversations that help us grow and connect.