(This blog is part of a weekly series for Know Thyself 2019, a 365 day journal project. Start here!)
This week’s question topic: Disagreement
As global migration increases, societies become more diverse. Workplaces bring together equally skilled people who, nonetheless, have highly divergent opinions about all kinds of topics, including social issues, politics, education, culture, sexuality, and ethnicity. Diversity increases disagreement.
It’s ok to disagree with others – you have the right to choose your thoughts! Holding your tongue when you disagree can make you resentful, feel taken advantage of, or become passive-aggressive.
It’s ok to disagree with others but keep your opinion to yourself. If you don’t know when to pick your battles, you might become frustrated, exhausted, and end up with a bad reputation.
This week’s questions are designed to help you understand your reaction to disagreement. By understanding your reaction, you gain the power to make a conscious choice about how to react in the future.
- Do you find yourself agreeing with mere opinions (not facts) even when you don’t agree? Describe the situation.
- When you find it difficult to tell someone you disagree, what are you afraid will happen? What thoughts are you worried the other person will think?
- What emotions do you feel when you disagree strongly with someone? (Tip: think about the sensations you feel in your body, e.g. increased heart rate, dizziness, and sweating, and consider what emotion that might be.)
- Do you most often feel negative or positive emotions when you disagree strongly with someone? How do these emotions guide your future interactions?
- In group decision-making, do you think that being peaceful means that everyone should agree?
- In your opinion, does a good person tell others that s/he disagrees?
- What is one current situation for which you might want to change your habitual reaction to disagreement? Describe the situation. For example, if someone always borrows things without asking – how would you tell them why you want them to stop? Or if you find yourself uselessly rehashing the same argument over and over, could you let go of the disagreement and stay silent?
How to Get the most out of Know Thyself 2019:
Don’t rush through the questions. Try to do only one question every morning, leaving space to add thoughts that might come up later during the day. The journal is designed to help you develop a consistent, daily practice of self-reflection which will help you more than doing 10 questions in one day, then none for a month. Subscribe by email to have the weekly questions delivered to your inbox!
Links to previous weeks: