Thoughtfully Dealing With Opposing Viewpoints

We’re talking this month about letting go our need to be a know-it-all and our need to be right. Instead we need to allow ourselves to doubt and to sometimes be wrong. To get along with people of opposing viewpoints, we need to open ourselves up to listening and understanding—not head butting.

Susan wrote about a technique that, when used one-on-one, can help us open up to those with whom we disagree. She recommended the “Blending Energy” technique. This is a wonderful exercise for dealing with those arguers who feel they need to berate you with their opinions.

The Blending Energy exercise sets the stage for you to be understanding, relative to the opinions of others. In the end, you may agree to disagree, but you do it with warmth.

The “Blending Energy” Exercise from Embracing Uncertainty:

This approach comes from the martial art Aikido which roughly translates to “the way of blending energy.” A blending of energy is what is most needed when conflict is in the air. A blending of energy helps us promote the idea of a Maybe world. When someone comes at you with a strong verbal attack or is vehemently disagreeing with you, move out of the line of attack by simply saying something like: “Tell me more. I’m interested to hear your views about this issue.” Once you have made your “Blending Energy” statement, it is necessary for you to truly listen to what the other party is saying and continue to respond with an attitude of discovery.

Use this technique to try and create a more productive dialogue with those whose views differ from your own by redirecting the negativity into something more constructive. “Blending Energy” statements can really help to create a true dialogue and help to keep our minds open.