A statement is made that upsets or angers you or a plan is devised that you feel is incorrect. Say a politician created a law or made actions using their position that do not fit in your perceptions of what is correct, ethical or even humane. A situation in which your brain is overflown with negativity. In short; you disagree with something. Fabulous, seeing how disagreement is one of the most effective mindsets that make every individual just that, an individual, as it is a mindset that strongly conveys your opinions. But there is some thing to note:
Disagreement can be executed in several ways; you can blatantly blurt out: ‘I disagree!’ and leaving it at that. With this “Loudest voice” mentality you provide a short and powerful statement, but in the end only show bigotry and bluntness.
Another, more powerful, thoughtful and effective way is to contemplate your disagreement and providing an educated counter argument. Not sure how to thoughtfully disagree? Here’s my take.
Understanding and Empathy
These first two steps elucidate the process of orientation: Understanding what someone is claiming and why. Now, in these steps you do not direct the actions towards yourself, try as much as possible to objectively and truly understand what the individual is communicating.
Initially, ask questions like ‘What is he precisely saying?’, ‘With what resources or methods does he want to execute this?’ and ‘What are his proposed benefits?’, and other similar questions. Research the claims made, find the grounding that the statements are based upon.
This is also the phase of empathy; the phase of understanding. Solely find information that supports the claims made and that the conflicting individual agrees with. Find out why the person you disagree with thinks what he thinks, and find all material that he uses to support him and understands why he thinks that way. Know your fight.
After researching and getting to know your enemy, you know exactly what he is saying, where to find evidence of what he said and what the specifics of his claims are. You didn’t get carried away in your anger and have comprised a list of claims that is as objective as you could make it. It purely says what he said, not personal conflict shown yet.
Now is the time to get, calm and collectedly, angry. What are the points you disagree on? Not the whole statement, but the exact points. Was inhumanity exhumed in a certain step of a proposed plan? Were unethical actions planned as horrid means to an end? Have racist implications been made? Is the message of the whole statement a hateful message? Find certain, specific aspects of the matter. Not the generality. It shows that you know what your countering, it attacks your opponent more effectively.
You’ve chosen the aspects that counter your philosophy regarding life and that are antonymous to your view of humanity. The proceeding step is to show that you know what you are saying. Support your claims. Explain why you think that the statements were incorrect, but don’t stop at the statement ‘It is inhumane.’ as this is why you chose to attack that certain point in the first place. Why is it inhumane? Who does it hurt? Why is it bad that those people are hurt? Why is something said unethical or hateful? Explain why the points you chose are outright preposterous. Be in-depth, explain to the roots of your personality and of your nature why the statements are disagreeable to you.
The comprehensive list of disagreed points has now been expanded to an essay thoroughly illuminating your disagreement. Yet writing this essay purely as a rebuttal to a statement is half the effort and effect. It shows thoughtfulness, resourcefulness and cleverness but leaves room for integrity.
Counter the statement, make your own statements, concerning the matter, that support your views of correctness and ethics. Explain how your views are better, and don’t be afraid to release your hold on the original matter and write on what morally right in your point of view. Write what you think is correct, why you think that and why it is better.
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