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5 smart ways to disagree politely

Disagreeing with anyone makes us come across as rude. But in an attempt to please the other person, we lose our unique voice and opinion. Understand how to disagree politely with effective and implementable tips!

It is always easier to agree than disagree in a conversation. Isn’t it? But it doesn’t mean you have to avoid making your point when the need arises. Whether it is a conversation in your personal relationships or professional interactions, it is not necessary that you always have to be on the same side as the other person. It is normal to think differently or disagree. Expressing that disagreement is sometimes not as easy as it sounds for many people. It is, in fact, tougher for people pleasers. To them, disagreeing may come across as being rude or adamant, so such people may end up giving in to the opinions of others. But in doing so, they tend to lose their authenticity and uniqueness. One has to remember that there’s always a way to disagree politely.

Tips to disagree politely

It is normal to look at the same story from a different point of view and disagree when need be. Here are some tips to help you disagree respectfully:

1. Do not take things personally

If we feel upset about an opinion of the other person, it is important to not lose sight of the fact that you are getting crazy at the idea or concept the other person is raising and not the person. So, if a voiced opinion of the other person is making you angry, do not make it all about yourself. Remember that it is the opinion you are disagreeing with and never the person.

2. Try not putting down the other person’s ideas and beliefs

When we are on the receiving end of someone’s put-downs, our first natural instinct is to yell or scream at the other person. But, it is during these very circumstances that we realize the importance of using respectful language and behaviour. So, instead of saying exactly what your running mind is thinking (“That is a useless idea), resist that urge to scream, and you can opt for a sarcastic tone. That way you will have a better chance of getting your opinion across respectfully.

3. Try to communicate with statements that have “I” in them

When we pinpoint someone else and disagree using “you” statements, we can sound rude or argumentative. Instead of saying, “What you are saying makes no sense or point”, you can use a different tone and say, “I respect your opinion, but I feel there is a better way of looking at the same situation”.

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4. Always be an active listener

Being a good listener is also a skill. Most people listen to arguments and do not understand. By listening actively to the other person’s views, we are showing respect towards the person while also reflecting that we understand the perspective. When you do so, there is a high chance that the other person will do the same for you. When the other person is talking, try not to get distracted by thinking about the reason you will disagree or what you will say next in your turn.

Instead, shift your focus on what is being said. When it is your turn to speak, highlight some of the key points the other person said to show that you actively listened. If you present your case calmly and by actively listening, you have a better chance of being understood and heard.

5. Stay calm

Something said by the other person can rile us up, and it is always easy to let the conversation go out of track. We know it is a big challenge to stay calm when the conversation feels heated because of the different opinions someone utters on something you are passionate about. However, you can always be the bigger person who manages the conversation by staying calm, even if you feel the other person could have known better.

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