An Interesting Point of View

Do you have a person in your life that you tend to get into arguments with?  Imagine changing your approach to that person by agreeing with them.  Arguments lose their energy in the face of agreement.  Now, you may not be able to honestly agree with some statement or belief.  One approach is to respond with the phrase “That’s an interesting point of view.  Let me think about it.”  You are not agreeing and you are not arguing. 

Its probably safe to say that no argument ever ends with one person changing their opinion.  Arguments tend to solidify a person’s point of view, entrenching them in their opinion.  My meditation teacher, years ago, when asked about arguing with your spouse, suggested a similar approach.  “Let me think about it.”  And then wait 3 hours to bring it up again, with “I’ve thought about what you were saying and I think….”  The idea is that when someone has an opinion they are sharing with you, behind their words is a lot of energy.  Disagreeing will increase that energy.  Instead, wait for 2 or 3 hours, until the energy has dissipated.  You stand a better chance of having your point of view heard if the other’s energy has settled.

I have a mental trick for this.  I imagine someone angry at me as holding a fire hose and blasting me with water.  In my imagination I pivot sideways and just allow the water to flow past me, not resisting.  I say to myself “This is not about me; they are really feeling strong about this.”  And I wait.  When the energy drops, I might say “Is there more you think I should know?”  If they feel complete I respond with “Let me think about this.”  And wait 3 hours.

I think of this as Verbal Aikido.  In Aikido you don’t block a punch or attack.  You move with the energy and redirect it.  So someone can try to argue with me, and rather than push back, I can be curious about their point of view.  I might agree or say that I need to think about it.

Another fun quote; “You can either be in relationship or you can be right.  You can’t be both.”

Published by Jim Hussey

I am a licensed professional counselor, working in a hospital setting. I have been a meditator and teacher for 47 years, a therapist for 28 years and married for 29 years. My secret vice is golf.

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