Please don’t be offended by the title of this article! We don’t want to insult anyone, but for successful conflict management, we need to point out that there can be great differences between the way you think, present your ideas and intentions, and consider yourself…and the way that others feel, think, emote, or respond…to you.
It is easy to label people with whom you disagree as “stupid” or impaired in some way. This makes us all feel secure in our own ways of looking at things. It is an easy way to self-validate, and a convenient way to justify disregarding the opinions of others. Sometimes, and sadly, this leads us to eventually dismiss others as simply not worth our attention.
Although most educated people, and much of the body of research on this topic, would tend to indicate that our brains all work the same way, there are factors (neuroscience considerations, cultural differences, totality of experiences, environmental peer pressures, etc.) that lead each of us in different directions and to disagreements, sometimes to the point of unpleasantness. We see this increasingly today in the media as we watch representatives from varying political or social perspectives abuse each other in public, not considering how they (and we) could have possibly approached the person in a more agreeable manner.
This article presumes that none of us are “stupid.” Yes, we are different, but it IS possible – and desirable – to deal with difficult people without going to war. Laurie Ruettimann (https://www.tlnt.com/how-to-work-and-get-along-with-really-stupid-people/) offers some alternative approaches and actions that we might want to consider – to give ourselves cause for pause – before we start to look upon our tormentors as “stupid” and treat them accordingly:
These points are not exhaustive, but could serve as a starting point for constructing tactics to deal with unpleasant people in the future. At the very least they are preferable to direct conflict, which rarely ends well.
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