Is it wrong to have different thoughts than another person? No, it is not. Yet, why do many cases end in a debate? One cause is the lack of respect for the other. I am sure that most of us know what this is about but not all of us implement it correctly when it comes to interacting with other people. So, what is respect? It is listening to others, letting people talk, not criticizing and not looking down on other people’s ideas. This last one is what I would like to empathize.
Many times, I believe that problems do not occur for opposing someone else’s idea or having a different opinion but because people treat that idea as something “dumb” or “with no importance”. “Treating their opinion as your own” takes an important place in these situations. The fact that other´s ideas are totally opposite to yours makes it difficult to connect; nevertheless, the conflict will be the result of that lack of respect. The key is to treat other people’s opinion as if it was yours and in this way to the ideas can coexist in a healthy manner.
How can you achieve this? You can do it through two essential steps. First, listen. You should listen and not criticize beforehand without knowing what the other person will say. You should aim to understand how the other person feels and how much those ideas mean to them. In addition, it is necessary to give them the opportunity to express themselves. No one can share something if the other person does not give him or her the chance. Therefore, it is important not only to listen but also allow the other person to express his or her ideas, as long as they do so within defined common limits.
Secondly, take a look at yourself. What usually happens is people do not realize how they treat others and they are unaware that maybe what is “good” for one person is actually “bad” for another. As a result, this can produce problems. The process is not easy and it takes time to recognize but if one is willing to connect to the other person and coexist, this will always be possible. It is important to try to walk in someone else’s shoes to understand their perspective.
To sum up this conversation, if you are aiming to create relationships but are finding different ideas than yours, you should not see this as a problem but as a challenge to your personal growth. Showing respect, listening to each other and analyzing yourself are key to establishing strong relationships. Try to avoid seeing this as a favor towards others but as a “step” that you take to grow as a person. As a result, you will find yourself being open-minded and when that happens you can interact with more people in an easier and a more positive way.
Facundo Luque is a junior studying Public Relations at Universidad Argentina de la Empresa (UADE) in Argentina, where he serves as International Ambassador and Immediate Past President in his Chapter. He is currently working in an entertainment field press agency called Pulpo PR. Additionally; he also attended PRSSANA in Miami, Florida this past spring and just registered for PRSSANC in Austin.