Monday, November 22, 2010

Simply Disagreeing vs. Being Disrespectful vs. Being Judgemental vs. Simply Disagreeing

This has been on my mind a LOT lately. A lot. Cannot emphasize that enough. A lot.

Yes, some because of the interchange Jene and I have had regarding spiritual views.

But also because of some Facebook statuses and comments.
And because of some message board happenings.
And some family conversations.
And some work occurrences.

Basically, I've been disagreeing with a lot of people lately. Or they've been disagreeing with me. Depending on how you look at it.

And on occasions when I've disagreed with others, no matter how nicely I have tried to word my opposing view point, these are some of the words that have been used to describe me and / or my statements:

filled with hate & fear

Now, I'm not perfect. Far from it.
I'm not opposed to criticism. And I believe when you receive criticism you should take it, reflect on your actions, and learn how to improve for the future. Of course, sometimes this happens after you stop fuming, but still. You take it, and learn from it.

So... one occasion (Facebook), yes. I was judging. I actually caught it before anyone commented. This is why you shouldn't FB before 6am. Or at least I shouldn't.

Another occasion (message board), I realized I might have come across as judgemental, even though that certainly wasn't the actual case, apologized the next time I was on, and got flack for apologizing. Nice.

But every other occasion? Every one... after being called whatever lovely term my listeners chose, I reviewed my statements, sometimes repeatedly, and then one more time, and then I talked it over with someone, and then I thought about it some more, and then I slept on it, and then I thought about it some more, and finally... I concluded that no, I was not being crazy, hateful, stupid, fearful, insane, b****y, judgemental, offensive, or disrespectful.

I was, simply, stating a viewpoint that someone else disagreed with.

Still... I do not understand why stating my own personal viewpoints created such emotional responses in others, simply because they were different from their own.

I have some theories on societal responses to conflict.
I have some theories based on what I know of each of these individuals.
But I don't know. Not really. I may never know.

What I do know is that I have spent way too much time reviewing past conversations, trying to figure out why someone else felt they way they did in response to an innocuous statement that I made.

And so I am moving on. This is my my-conscience-is-clear post. In regards to all of these conversations that have been weighing on my mind over the past few months.


Oh, but just so I'm clear. This doesn't mean I'm done stating my viewpoints or beliefs. Just that I'm done beating myself up about it, when I've not actually done anything wrong.


areyoukiddingme said...

I think it's really difficult for people to respectfully disagree. It requires a lot of thought and proper formulation of statements to leave out the judgement and other aspects, and even if you do, someone will still reinterpret it nastily. It's especially difficult in writing, because there are no body language cues to signal that you're not being aggressive or confrontational. Unfortunately, I think this means that many people refrain from having a discussion because they don't want to offend...I know I do that at times.

Marianne said...

Truly, I love reading your blog and I don't find you to be any of those adjectives you listed, mostly just interesting. A while ago you posted about an uncle's funeral and there was one sentence they got me just a little:

"I know Catholics tend to like their traditions & rituals, and wanted to make sure I was respecting that (even if I don't agree myself)."

I'm Catholic, not a very good one, but from a Catholic family and that's how my kids were raised. Not sure why that got under my skin so much...maybe it felt a little bit like finger pointing at me.

I think a lot of religions are built on tradition and rituals, so maybe that's why I felt a little singled out.

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