How to Disagree Better | NYT Opinion

Added: 29 days ago
Views: 991

These days, arguments can become a destructive land-grab for social media points, and quickly hit a dead-end. If we want to find solutions, it’s vital that we learn how to disagree thoughtfully and with curiosity.

At this very moment, people are ready to pounce on anyone they deem “wrong.”

And someone is definitely wrong on the Internet right now. Some of them are wrong in your social media feeds, and there’s a good chance you’re already friends with at least one such person. We get things wrong all the time.

So what do we do when we decide someone’s wrong? Engage -- or not? Disagree loudly -- or roll our eyes silently? Block them, or troll them?

A rare option would be to make an impossible conversation possible through the techniques above.

Research confirms that central to influencing -- or just productively engaging with -- other humans is a sense of psychological safety. Letting friends (or strangers on the internet) hold beliefs that you think are wrong, but letting them know you’re still friends (or still just strangers on the internet, not mortal enemies) reinforces that safety.

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