Seek to understand what you disagree with. You'll build stronger resolve for your own belief.

Seek to understand what you disagree with. You’ll build stronger resolve for your own belief.

If you disagree with something, learn more about it.

You know, those topics you can’t stand hearing about. The subjects that reside on the total opposite spectrum of your beliefs. Even that daily news coverage you keep seeing on television and quickly ignore it by changing the channel.

The quickest way to stay mentally stumped and with a limited worldview is to overlook learning about something just because you disagree with it. Of course, you can’t disagree with something you never learned about. Can you?

People can exhibit this tendency when learning a surface overview of a topic and make assumptions thereafter. You’ll find this happening often when someone “allegedly” commits a crime. How often do we then go and tell someone, “XYZ did this!” when XYZ was only “alleged.” This important word is ignored and the assumption is the accused already committed the crime.

If you’re reading an article, work it from start to finish. Don’t skim. Crafty writers can grab your attention in the beginning and take you on a roller coaster of emotions and differing thoughts within the same article. You can gain general ideas of the work by reading a few lines, but don’t assume just because you read two paragraphs you understand the entire piece. There could be a critical detail [in the middle, towards the end] that can shift your understanding, improve your view.

If a topic angers you, be daring enough to go deeper into it. Learning about your triggers expands your social and intellectual reach. You become more aware of what moves you and the why. You increase your options for a response and become more autonomous in your actions. You become a multidimensional thinker instead of reactionary, and you demonstrate that you can hold mature discussions without blowing up.

This eliminates you from taking on a lifestyle and making decisions as a one-dimensional thinker who can only do or engage experiences you like. No challenge. No push. No discomfort zone. We know the world doesn’t work this way; we have clear lines and principles and “common sense” and the obvious, but it’s also full of puzzles and gray areas and need for understanding what differs from us.

Embrace disagreements. If everyone thought the same and performed the same, what use would there be for 7 billion of us? Diversity exists because it spawns growth and there are multiple paths to the same goals. Strive to separate your emotional triggers from the benefits of having a conversation with differing opinions. You should be able to talk to others, disagree or disagree, learn from the experience and move on.

This technique is meant to challenge your mindset to become more worldly. It may be rough and uncomfortable at first, but over time you’ll notice a few things:

– You can hold conversations on numerous topics with just about anyone

– Those topics that angered you so much fail to rile you up like they used to

– You can disagree with ideas and hold your ground without emotional explosions

– Your emotional maturity strengthens; you develop “tough skin”

– Your extend your ability to think outside the box; creativity heightens

– You eventually transform from a person who reacts to everything on cue to one who consciously acts, makes choices and remains aware of them

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