People are wired for pleasure, making it natural for them to also shy away from discomfort and negative emotions. But what do you do if it is your friend who stands on the opposite side of the fence about something important to you?
Dealing with different opinions and views while still maintaining your cool is “the mark of a good businessman,” declared business and economy news platform The Economic Times. This “my way or the highway” approach, which suggests the ultimatum of take it or leave it, may not help you climb the corporate ladder or win friends along the way.
Respect is important
To handle a difference of opinion with a friend, disagreement should not be considered as disrespect. We are all allowed to disagree with other people and it does not mean that our respect for them should go out the window. It does not give you or the other person the right to disrespect, shame, or belittle. It can even be beneficial to value the differences and one’s right to differ.
The discussion should remain private
If the topic is already sensitive, your discussion should remain private. This is because you don’t want other people to jump into the situation. Speak to your friend directly and if needed, ask a sound third party who can help diffuse the conflict if you and your friend cannot find common ground.
Don’t air the conflict on social media
When you and your friend have a different view on a certain thing, it will help you if you face the issue directly and not air it on social media. It just makes the person appear petty. Posting it on social media is like asking for more conflict. According to Center for Digital Ethics and Policy, which was established to foster more research and guidelines regarding ethical behavior in digital environments, 79% of people who complain via Twitter about their workplace want their friends to see what they have written but only 52% of the company will notice that post. Also, only 36% of social media users who rant expect their company to see their post and take action based on it.
“Should I be Facebook friends with my boss?” career expert Angela Copeland recently shared. She believed that there are advantages to being friends with your boss because openness will move people closer to inclusion. It helps you bring your whole self to the workplace. However, many things in life should be kept separate from your employees and work, whether it’s love, finances, or politics. There is that “perceived level of professionalism” you maintain because you keep things separated.
German database company Statista also shared that Facebook rants deter US users. The most common reasons why adults in the US use social media less is that they don’t like rants or too personal comments (60%), there is too much negativity (59%), they are tired of political posts (58%), they have concerns about privacy (57%), they enjoy other social media sites more (47%), their friends don’t post much anymore (47%), they needed a break for their mental health (39%), and their parents or relatives use Facebook (31%).
Don’t be quick to resort to bad behavior
The proverb “you can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar” means that it is easier to get what you want not by being insolent or rude but by being polite. Don’t be quick to resort to bad behavior so as not to aggravate the situation. If you are in disagreement with your friend, do not respond with anger, sarcasm, or revenge because it will only alienate you from the other person. Be patient, listen, and count 1 to 10.
Nonpartisan organization Pew Research Center said that the less pleasant side of friendship is that conflict arises. Aside from ethnic and racial differences, teens now fight with their friends because of the digital realm. In their survey, 26% of teens have fought with a friend because of something that happened online and a majority (73%) said they were not involved in a fight with a friend because of something that happened online or via texting. Teenage girls (32%) are more inclined to disagree with their friends that begin online or because of a text message compared to 20% of the boys.
After their friendship ends, teenage girls are also more likely to take steps to untag photos, block, or unfriend former friends. A majority (63%) of the girls have unfriended or unfollowed someone they used to be friends with compared to 53% of the boys. Also, 53% of girls blocked someone they used to be friends with than their male counterparts (37%) and 49% of girls deleted or untagged photos of themselves and someone they used to be friends with.
Why people avoid confrontation
There are many reasons why people avoid conflict or confrontation. These include fearing rejection when they stand up for themselves, not believing that they have a valid opinion, having a past negative experience about the situation, unsure of what they want and need, lack of conviction and confidence in their beliefs and values, according to Natalie Bel Hill, a coach who helps people build their self-confidence.
She shared that if you’ve made a mistake, it requires seeing areas that need improvement. But if you want to stand your ground and ask for what you want, it also requires courage and bravery. The good side of it is that you can consider it a test of your resilience and strength, like building a muscle in your body. Do not fear the confrontation as long as you express your side respectfully. Being more in control and feeling better of your decisions and life have a positive effect on yourself and your soul too.
Your opinions will not always be the same with everyone you meet as our opinions are formed by experiences, culture, and upbringing. To handle conflict, it requires listening not just in words but in body language. Come to a resolution and collaborate. This applies both in business and personal settings.