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TRIBEWORK is about consuming the process of life, the journey, together.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Expecting and Surviving Disagreement

There are some relational situations—with family, friends, or colleagues, even acquaintances—where, no matter how much we try and convince them regarding our sensibly reasoned rationale, it will not be acceptable to them.

Yet, though it remains unresolved, it’s not necessarily a problematic conflict.

It will only prove problematic when either they persist in trying to change our rationale for us or we insist on achieving their agreement or approval.

Many relational situations can remain happily in tension, given a sense of resilient grit that’s home to poise. This sense of grit starts in one and can become, eventually, the outlook of the other.

When Agreement May Be Too Much To Expect

In a less than a perfect world, the only way we may harmoniously live with each other is by, as the old saying goes, agreeing to disagree—us to them and them to us.

Disagreeable situations are not necessarily bad for them or us, unless we or they find such situations untenable—then there has to be conflict. Conflict in these circumstances is not a bad thing, for it brings parties to the negotiating table; however messy such negotiations, at times, play out.

We or they are being unreasonable when we or they expect everything to be to the peaceable liking of all parties, or even most. It has to be a rare outcome.


Then, the last thing we need in circumstances of varying disagreement is triangulation—when we or they take the grievances elsewhere; places they’ll neither be solved nor advanced in any way.

Avoiding The Folly Of Triangulation

Disagreements are always best kept between the parties concerned; any virulent extension to the field of debate is fraught with danger and wisdom is advised.

Triangulation occurs when we involve externals and those externals get back to the person we’re in conflict with. As a result, trust is dissolved. When intimacy is thrown to the dogs it is not quickly healed or redeemed.

Avoid involving others unless they’re prepared to help both parties, objectively, as will be seen by both parties, toward resolution.

Gathering Acceptance In Disagreement

Accepting something we cannot change is easier than we think.

Where we have no choice, and no options are presented, our thinking becomes never easier. In maturity, we humbly accept. We see them and us polarised by our own unique perspectives—those that God, alone, has given us; if we can accept each is trying their best to live for good purposes.

As we go out into our days, we ought to anticipate, even expect, disagreement.

These disagreements do not characterise enemies at battle, but mainly people passionate and concerned about life and the living of it. Holding our view is only one portion of God’s truth, for we miss so much of the complete picture.

Trying to understand another’s viewpoint is really saying to God, “Lord, give me more perspective here.”


All relationships can be enjoyed more when we accept disagreement: a freedom both issued and received because grace is made manifest in a love beyond selfish design.

© 2012 S. J. Wickham.

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