Disagreement without anger

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by decafjava, Nov 14, 2013.

  1. decafjava macrumors 68030


    Feb 7, 2011
    So a former colleague posted an article I strongly disagree with on FB this morning. Got me pissed off but I didn't respond because I didn't have the energy to get into an argument because it made me very angry - and I didn't want to post something stupid. It was political of course, and I embarrassed myself a couple of times on other political discussions and once even about ios 7.

    Happens in real life, I get angry when I disagree with my closest friends or family, and others I just hold it in. I still want to express my disagreement - even forcefully - but want to know how others deal with it?

    Oh yea and there are some threads here, at the PRSI for example that have affected me the same way.:rolleyes:
  2. roadbloc macrumors G3


    Aug 24, 2009
    I assume everybody else is stupid and are not even worthy to be enlightened with my exemplary opinion. In short, artificially boost your ego.
  3. Happybunny macrumors 68000

    Sep 9, 2010
    I have noticed as I got older (not wiser) I had less interest in pushing my opinion through to the bitter end.

    I usually state my opinion, and leave it at that. Life is far to short to get angry, people myself included, generally do not respond well to people telling them that they are idiots and that they are wrong. You are mostly wasting your, and their time.

    If it's important they will find out by themselves or not.
    While you get on with living your life stress free.:p
  4. 63dot macrumors 603


    Jun 12, 2006
    I like MR political forums in that I can disagree and get out frustrations there. I am the longtime user under different name that actually started those threads in early days of this site.

    In real life, I don't have time to get into heated political or religious discussions. All of my friends either don't agree with my green party beliefs, my Christian faith, or my choice in bay area sports teams. While the latter two find company in most places, the first aspect pretty much makes me the only one in the room who is the "traitor". ;)
  5. Huntn macrumors P6


    May 5, 2008
    The Misty Mountains
    You have to train yourself. As a rule, anger does nothing but cloud your rational thinking. Remaining cool headed and understanding one's limits when it comes to a subject matter, although it does not guarantee, helps considerably in winning disagreements. I think this is more applicable to personal face to face disagreements.

    For forum subjects, you have the luxury of collecting yourself and researching sources before entering the fray, but even so, remaining calm and restricting remarks to a non-inflammatory nature, and avoiding personal name calling and insults will take you a long way. And I admit I am guilty of this, but try not to lump everyone into the same group. In other words, when I want to criticize GOP leadership, I try not to say that all Republicans are idiots, but focus on GOP leadership.

    And remember on a forum, don't plan on changing anyone's mind. The best you can do is influence those sitting on the fence. One thing you know is when an adversary starts with the name calling, it indicates they have nothing else constructive to say and/or they are losing the argument. :)
  6. Tomorrow macrumors 604


    Mar 2, 2008
    Always a day away
    Somebody posts an article you disagree with and you get angry? To the point you have to suppress it?

    Can't you just, like not read the article or something?
  7. ucfgrad93 macrumors P6


    Aug 17, 2007
    This is how I view things as well.
  8. satcomer macrumors 603


    Feb 19, 2008
    The Finger Lakes Region
    I found a old lesson (when I was very young and Mother was still alive) that the saying "Your catch more flies with honey" has treated me well with dealing with people.
  9. Jessica Lares macrumors G3

    Jessica Lares

    Oct 31, 2009
    Near Dallas, Texas, USA
    Sometimes you just have to take a huge breath and click the back button. ;)

    I usually just walk out of the room or let it be. Especially when it's something I can't intelligently argue about.
  10. needfx macrumors 68040


    Aug 10, 2010
    macrumors apparently
    I have found the block button useful at times
  11. notjustjay macrumors 603


    Sep 19, 2003
    Canada, eh?
    It helps to understand the psychology behind it.

    We all like to think we are smart people who know what's what. We each make decisions and form opinions, and we each think we are correct. After all, nobody knowingly chooses to believe in falsehoods.

    Along comes someone else who tells us that what we think is wrong. We tend to conflate "Your belief is stupid" with "YOU are stupid". So when we are told we are incorrect, we feel like we are being attacked, so we get defensive and angry.

    It works the same the other way. You can't understand why person X does not see things the same way you do, so you begin to get angry with them because, how could he be so dumb?!

    Realizing that smart people are capable of making incorrect choices (generally unwittingly) is a good first step. Logic, math, science, computer programming all dictate that if your inputs are incorrect, your outputs will be incorrect as well. It is possible to not have all the facts straight, and thus form an incorrect assumption.

    Realizing that YOU are capable of making incorrect choices is a little bit more painful, but saves everyone time in the long run. I know so many people that would rather backpedal and dig deeper holes to prop up their own ego rather than simply saying "you know what, I was misinformed, I was wrong, I apologize".
  12. sdilley14 macrumors 65816

    Feb 8, 2007
    Mesa, AZ
    If I'm not able to state my disagreement in a calm, sensible manner, I just shake my head, let the mouse clicks take me somewhere else, and move on with my day. Getting pissed and barfing up an angry disagreement won't ever change the person's point of view and only serves to make more enemies than friends. Not to mention it makes you look like a bitter ******* more often than not.

    There is nothing wrong with a respectful debate, but if I feel that it is neither going to be respect nor a true debate, I just avoid it. I also try to keep in mind that just because I don't agree with something doesn't mean that I'm necessarily "right". Unless it is a topic that can be verified and quantified with numbers/proven facts/etc., it's pretty much impossible to "win" an argument.
  13. Apple fanboy macrumors Penryn

    Apple fanboy

    Feb 21, 2012
    Behind the Lens, UK
    Huh I thought I was the only one who writes out a complete rant then thinks better of it and hits the back button!

    Also stay out of the PRSI threads when you have been drinking, is another useful bit of advice.

    Being angry generally just causes you grief. Especially over somebody else's opinion on a website.
  14. StephenCampbell macrumors 65816

    Sep 21, 2009
    Just remind yourself that there are millions of others who hold the same views as your friend, and it doesn't bother you because you're not confronted with it. That's what I do when I get really bothered by fundamental disagreements about the nature of socio-political affairs with my brother.
  15. kazmac macrumors 603


    Mar 24, 2010
    On the silver scream
    Such great advice. Note to self - take it.
  16. Huntn macrumors P6


    May 5, 2008
    The Misty Mountains
    I've not needed it here, but have used it in another forum and it works great for someone who constantly gets on my nerves.

  17. sviato macrumors 68020


    Oct 27, 2010
    HR 9038 A
    Some people are just not worth arguing with so often I just don't say anything. Sarcasm can also be fun ;)
  18. citizenzen macrumors 65816

    Mar 22, 2010
    I'm curious about this part. You embarrassed yourself in a discussion?

    The only times I've felt embarrassed is when I made statements without checking to make sure I have the facts behind me.

    So that might be one way to help avoid embarrassment ... taking a pause to check the facts before blurting out the first thing that comes to mind.

    It's saved me many times.

    Or, just do everything this guy says ...

  19. mscriv macrumors 601


    Aug 14, 2008
    Dallas, Texas

    Let me start by saying it's awesome that you are willing to recognize this challenge/struggle within yourself. All of us have moments of difficulty with anger.

    What has helped me is keeping some basics in mind.

    First, I can only control myself. No matter how strong I believe something, how clear I think the evidence is, or how simple I think the facts are everyone has the freedom to make their own decisions.

    Second, I must always treat others in the way that I would like to be treated... with respect. When I cross the line, whether it be frustration, anger, sarcasm, etc. I am only destroying my own credibility and damaging any chance I have of being taken seriously. If I truly believe in my point of view and other's freedom to make up their own mind, then I must respect myself and them during any exchange, discussion, or debate.

    Third, relationships are more important than winning an argument. Most of us have no idea how to positively manage conflict with others. When there is a disagreement, especially when emotions are high, we personalize the event and often the relationship can be permanently damaged. When I find myself in any kind of conflict with someone, whether it be in person or online, I try to keep in mind that my relationship with that person is more valuable then my ego or my selfish desire to "be heard".

    Fourth, healthy relationships have good boundaries. You are not going to agree with everyone in your life. It's okay to have areas where you differ in opinion whether it be political, religious, or even personal. Where boundaries are needed set them and maintain them in a respectful manner. It's okay to agree to disagree about things in one area and have a positive relationship in areas where you have similar interests.

    So, not an exhaustive list and there is going to be some overlap between the things I have mentioned, but all in all this is what I try to do in my own life.
  20. velocityg4 macrumors 601


    Dec 19, 2004
    Watch "Thank You for Smoking". The point of an argument is not to try and convince the person you are arguing with but everyone else.

    Anyways if I realize I'm just starting to rant and get angry. I do as others here have mentioned. Hit the back button and move on. When it comes to the internet I mostly just drop my opinion and never look back.

    Some people will agree with my argument. Others won't. Why waste my time further?
  21. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    Opinions are like butt cracks. Everyone has one.

    I agree and I as age (notice not saying getting wise ;) ), I too feel that there is no need to argue or force someone to see my way of thinking. I don't get worked up about anything on Facebook, or the internet. Life is too short to sweat the small stuff.
  22. Huntn macrumors P6


    May 5, 2008
    The Misty Mountains
    But it's good to publicly lament when your country is half way flushed down the toilet. I think everyone in this forum agrees, but for different reasons. :p
  23. decafjava thread starter macrumors 68030


    Feb 7, 2011
    Thanks for the replies guys. I just took the high road and did not respond. The fact is this particular discussion someone made a nasty comment with the poster (a former colleague whom I respect even if I don't often agree with her) so as I was busy I let it slide.

    I do get very annoyed when I see mistakes on basic facts, especially in domains where I consider myself as having certain knowledge.
  24. 63dot, Nov 18, 2013
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2013

    63dot macrumors 603


    Jun 12, 2006
    Sometimes you may know your area, but then sometimes "circumstances" make a situation bad. How?

    My area of study in college, and some grad school, was Management/HR. Bear with me if you want:

    Right now we know bullying is a huge issue, even in the workplace with adults.

    I am in an organization, mid-size, that has felt the pressure of the recession and we are facing bankruptcy. In order to combat going under, we hired professional fix it managers to try and reduce debt yet keep as many employees on as possible.

    While we reduced from 120 to 60, there was still need to pay our debts and responsibilities. We refurbished a building tht ended up costing twice as much, or more, and we just don't have the budget.

    So one fix it manager, one of the new ones, has a task to get more out of the workers under her department. One worker is mentally disabled (and she may not know that) and he stressed out over the increased workload and quit. He has seven children and it was a blow to his family. His supervisor bullied him because the fix it manager on top bullied the supervisor. Everybody had to get more done in order to retain current jobs or go bankrupt (in where we all lose our jobs).

    But from the HR standpoint, in the area I know of HR, bullying a mentally disabled person (and expecting totally unreasonable increase in output) and thus forcing the mentally disable person out of a job who may not understand the politics of budgetary pressures, is just not right in any universe.

    I felt mad, but looking at the big picture I knew everybody, including the fix-it managers, were under a timetable to reduce budget and increase productivity. We were, and are, in a sinking ship.

    While I felt like I wanted to get mad at that fix-it manager on top, I waited for weeks to cool down since I too was once that fix-it manager in another organization where my job was to reduce staff and increase productivity. We were hated and sued and settled out of court in a public bloodbath. Right now, the fix-it managers are facing long and expensive lawsuits (which everybody knew would happen) but with their North Korea dictator type brutality, they did stave off a bankruptcy as was their duty. The goal was not bad, but circumstances probably made the process "brutal" as the press calls the work environment. When financial times are good, it's easy to hire more and more people and give them huge raises.

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