Why Does a Difference of Opinion Have to Turn into a Fight?

Is Fighting a Good Topic to Discuss?

I struggled whether I should write a blog about the way people fight over differences of opinions. I decided to go forward in hopes of being part of the solution, no matter how small my contributions is. Something has to change. What we are doing as a society, isn’t working that well. Social media has its positive uses; but it has a very dark side, we all know too well. People used to be polite to one another in public. Now, people will ignore you or say something rude. Remember when we were taught, If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all?

What happened to manners? What about a simple smile? Fighting doesn’t usually occur when someone is being polite or smiling. In fact, studies show that if you smile at someone, it boost their self-esteem; it’s contagious. If you need to express your opinion of a topic, can you do it nicely?

Does A Debate Have to Turn into a Fight?

Everyday on social media there is some sort of controversy.  And it turns into a fight. Our country is having some serious issues on our communication skills. Many don’t know how to have a healthy debate, resulting in loss of relationships and friendships. How can we be part of the solution and not part of the problem?

For starters, when someone has a difference of opinion, it’s probably not a good thing to start of your conversation with a criticizing word or sentence. You will immediately lose the person’s attention and send them into defensive mode. Nothing will come out of this conversation, except a fight or argument.

Fighting or arguing on social media gives you the false sense of power to say anything that you might not have the guts to say in person. Not too mention, there’s no sense of tone in writing and things are misinterpreted, leading to a fight.  So, how do we not get provoked into fighting?

Let’s Avoid the Fight

Some topics like racism, politics, religion, abortion, and gun control are topics that have strong convictions and are all over social media.  More than likely you aren’t going to change a person’s mind on these subjects. But if there needs to be conversations regarding these topics, try not to make it personal. Listening to what someone has to say whether you agree or not, is one way to avoid a fight.

Ask questions as to why they feel the way they do without judgment. Hopefully, they will reciprocate the listening. When people feel like they’ve been heard, their walls come down and they are more likely to hear your point of view.

No one will respond positively with an opening judgmental statement such as “What’s wrong with you?” or “How can you possibly think that way?” which implies that they think you are some kind of idiot. Everyone likes to be treated with respect. You won’t want to fight, when someone is treating you with respect.

Someone Else’s Shoes

I have strong opinions on all of the topic above, like most of you do. Being a hairstylist for many years, I am paid for opinions on hair care and styles, not much else. My clientele is very diverse; as far as being religious, conservative, liberal, and somewhere in between. In order to keep my clientele, I have to try to put myself in someone else’s shoes.

By putting myself in their shoes, it helps me not to take things personally. It helps me understand the client; or at least, see why they feel the way that they do. By doing that it opens the door for me to share my thoughts and they try to understand me.  We don’t always see eye to eye, but we learn something new almost every time and there’s never a fight.

We All Can Get Along

Let’s not reduce to the fighting that is shown on reality TV. We all know or should know, reality TV isn’t reality; it’s entertainment. I’m not sure why people screaming or pulling hair, is declared entertaining. But for some reason, it sells. It personally gives me some anxiety – much like the fighting on social media.

If I get triggered over a comment on social media, I try to look inside and see why. If my emotions are too much to handle, I block those conversations. I try not to engage in contentious topics. I admit I read comments, but I have learned in the past, participating doesn’t always end with the people you thought you were talking with.

With love, empathy, and compassion, we all can get along. It takes some work and lots of real communication which includes listening to one another. We are at at volatile time where emotions and feelings are running extremely high. Let’s look for solutions instead of pointing out what we deem as the problem. Who really likes to fight?

Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them humanity cannot survive. – Dalai Lama



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