Walter Lippman said “Where all think alike, nobody thinks very much.” In fact if two businessmen always agree one of them may well be unnecessary, and if two best friends never disagree the friendship is likely to become stale. It’s much easier though isn’t it, to nod in agreement with someone rather than explore why you don’t agree. Disagreement risks an argument or a put-down by somebody who may not be willing to hear an opinion different from their own
There’s an art in disagreeing with someone in a way that keeps your integrity and doesn’t sound like an attack. Most of us tend to drift with popular opinion rather than make the effort to speak the truth. It takes time and effort to go out on a limb to give a differing opinion in a way that is non-judgmental, so that the other person can hear it.
As Henry David Thoreau said, “It takes two to speak the truth: One to speak and the other to hear.” It may test your relationship, and to avoid this many couples drift into a phony relationship because they always agree. Nobody wants to fight all the time but neither do we want a shallow relationship. The ideal seems to be the kind of marriage or friendship in which disagreement is a normal part of life as each tries to reach common ground, but in which discussion is open and honest. It is a more difficult pathway but ultimately more rewarding. The recipe is in the Old Book: “Speak the truth in love!” It’s worth the extra effort isn’t it, to create special friendships in which the ‘real’ you is heard and valued. And remember, as Hamilton Wright Mabie said: “Don’t be afraid of opposition. Remember, a kite rises against, not with, the wind.”