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How to respect others even when they have different opinions

We live in a world that thrives on conflict. There are tons of views, opinions, likes and dislikes on various different topics. I mean, have you ever taken the time to read through the comments section of a post that may or may not be in your favour? Most of us think we’re tolerant towards others that may see the world differently but sometimes we find ourselves tolerant of people who see things our way. That’s what happens, right?

How do we show respect for someone who is so wrong about so many things? The one option is to remove yourself from the conversation or the room entirely but we have created a list of ways to respect others even when they have different opinions.

  1. Be open-minded

Easier said than done, especially when you’re incredibly opinionated but you need to be willing to hear opposing opinions, even if they’re outrageous, and begin to learn about the view of people you don’t agree with. If you wish to genuinely show respect to others, even if you disagree with them, treat the person with the dignity that they deserve and instead of trying to change their mind, listen to them. This will prevent the conversation from snowballing and blowing up out of proportion.

  1. Find a common ground

Your common ground could be an ‘agree to disagree’ position but if you really want to find a common ground, keep asking questions and learn more about the person’s view. You may find something in common by asking more questions.

  1. Read to understand

As social media takes over our lives, reading to understand has become a lost art. It’s easy to read a comment that makes you unhappy, respond in ALL CAPS and run away from the discussion. Sometimes you need to stop thinking about your argument or if you agree or not and really focus on what the other person is saying. Pay attention to their tone and try to understand where they are coming from.

  1. Keep your emotions in check

Emotions can run wild when it comes to differing beliefs and opinions but you need to remember that every individual has worth, dignity and a right to an opinion, even if you don’t agree. Don’t take it personally. Instead, try to stay calm. If the conversation is getting too heated, step back until you’re ready to engage in a respectable manner.

This post does not mean you are allowed to be a bully or cyberbully because you have the right to voice your opinion. Respect is a two-way street and no individual should be feeling threatened by your opinion. You have a right to your opinions and beliefs and not everyone is going to be okay with them, and you need to be okay with that!

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