What do you do when you disagree with someone?
When in Doubt, Go Deeper.
A study by researchers at the University of California-San Diego concluded that people are inundated with the equivalent of 34 gigabytes of information every day. To process that magnitude of input, our brains, by nature, look for similarities, categorizing all that data and aligning it with past experiences.
The good news is that it ensures we don’t freeze and stop functioning. The challenge is that we also may miss or actively avoid complexity. In doing that you lose a chance to learn and connect more deeply.
Complex Ideas and Multiple Perspectives.
If you are a parent of a teenager or have the joy of living in a house with someone who tells you everything you say is wrong and they are right, yet whom you love and want to stay connected to…you will know what I mean.
The “I’m right you’re wrong” conversations that are so prevalent these days are never fruitful. What someone believes in any given moment could draw on decades of history fed by academic learning, faith, experience, and so-on. As such, you’ll rarely come to agreement in the heat of the moment. Worse, both people may leave feeling resentful and unheard.
It Takes Time to Learn. It Takes Time to Listen.
Geno Olison is one of the founders and lead pastor of the South Suburban Vineyard Church, an intentionally inclusive, multicultural, multiethnic, worship community. He puts it this way, “Our instinct as humans is to simplify big and complicated things, to fold them down into something portable we can put in our pocket. The challenge is don’t be afraid to sit in discomfort.” (See below for the link to the interview.)
The solution? Take it upon yourself to research and learn, to understand the other’s perspective.
How do you do that in your interactions? What’s an idea that surprised you when you dug deeper to understand? Hit reply. I’d love to learn what works for you.