How to Deal with People with Opposing Views Online.

We are all looking for connection and want to be understood, so why all the B.. S…?

Photo by Claudio Schwartz

Understand that People are Different

As stated earlier, the world’s population is currently at 7.8 billion people, and over 3.8 billion of those people are on social media. As you know, your life experiences and how you interpret those experiences and your environment define how you see the world, which drives your beliefs and informs your decisions. Even amongst people with similar views and experiences, there are still differences because everyone interprets an experience differently. If you think about that, that’s a large number of unique perspectives and experiences, so why on earth would you think everyone should subscribe to your way of thinking? Recognize that people are different; not everyone has the same experiences as you do, so not everyone will see things the way you see them.

Argue to Learn and Grow Not to Win

Realize that there is knowledge and power in diversity, and if you have a growth mindset, your intention behind any arguments or debates should be to learn and grow and not to win. Seeing things from a different perspective can provide you with answers to questions you didn’t even realize you were asking. You need people with different experiences and viewpoints in your life to help you grow, and as a couple once said, ‘We don’t argue to win or prove a point, we argue to learn more about each other and grow.

Seek Understanding By Asking Why

We all want to be understood, but don’t want to understand. Recognize that the person on the other end wants to be understood and accepted just as you do. Give people the benefit of the doubt and seek to understand. It is sometimes impossible to understand the ‘Why’ behind a person’s viewpoint in a limited amount of characters, and as an analyst, I’ve retrained my mind to ask the question kids love to ask the most, Why? It’s astounding how much information you can gather from asking why, including determining the person’s validity and intentions on the other end. You owe it to yourself to take responsibility for your research by asking why rather than replying with a harsh comment or taking what you hear or read at face value.

Be Courageous, Seek Out Opposing Views

There are several definitions and quotes on courage, but I like to think of courage as being willing to seek opposing viewpoints and ideologies. I learned this from a close friend of mine. On the political spectrum, she’s affiliated with the left-wing but watches a lot of conservative news. When I asked why she does this, her reply was, ‘I’m trying to see things from all perspectives.

IT analyst by day | Seeking answers to life by night

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