Disagreement is part of the human paradigm. The human paradigm is like nature. In nature, there are plants that sustain life and there are plants that destroy life for humans. If you have not been trained to eat healthy plants in nature, you can easily eat a plant that will poison you. And there are plants that can help and hurt your body, depending on the amount administered. Principally speaking, the same happens with relationships from elements in the human paradigm.
For example, disagreement is thought to bea part of the paradigm. Disagreement never travels alone. It is often accompanied by other implicit elements. In other words, to disagree you are likely to also defend yourself, validate, invalidate, prove, justify, make right, make wrong, win and lose. While some of you may disagree, I ask that you consider all of these elements are closely related to disagreement. In order to disagree, you are taught to validate yourself. Other times you disagree with nothing to substantiate your point of view. You only seek to invalidate the other.
Validation is a huge part of the human paradigm and there are many other areas where you are taught to validate yourself. When you get good grades in school, you validate smartness and the ability to move on to the next level. Hence, you are rewarded. In addition to good grades, rewards come in the form of being a well-behaved student. There are others who seek validation by being the class clown. Still others become the rebel. Even the rebel receives validation from other rebels. When these three groups interact, the rebel, for example, may invalidate the well-behaved students to justify their rebellious behavior. And in the rebel’s mind, they are right.
Two additional elements that have enormous power are the need to dominate and the need to avoid being dominated. These are such a significant part of the human paradigm because some people believe success can dominate their life. They believe they will have to work long hours or change friends because existing friends will not understand them. In most cases, the fear of being dominated is a perceived threat. Some will even dominate to avoid being dominated.
With that said, engaging in disagreement can be like eating a poisonous plant. It can sabotage intimate relationships and careers. How? You can disagree because someone mentions a topic you don’t understand. Instead of asking questions or saying I don’t understand, you attempt to validate yourself by disagreeing. And the disagreement is done without anything to support it. The need can be to validate self or avoid being dominated by an intellectual discussion. In other cases, hearing something new or unfamiliar could make you believe your past philosophies were wrong. Therefore, you must defend them.
As you can see, disagreement is almost never as simple as disagreeing. The accompanying elements can be so intoxicating that they become blind spots. When your brain is programmed to enjoy those poisonous elements or blind spots, you may be addicted to them. Like all addictions, the euphoric feeling is difficult to let go of.
Before you disagree, make sure you are not intoxicated by one of the poisonous elements of the human paradigm. When one of those elements becomes the goal – be right, validate, etc, the original intention of the conversation goes out the window and sabotage may be around the corner. Instead, engage in discourse. Through discourse, two people can express opposing views. However, they must first listen to the other without a concern for being right, defending, proving, etc. What you may find through discourse of opposing views, is you can create something neither of you could have discovered on your own.
What do you think? I would love to hear your feedback. And I’m open to ideas. Or if you want to write me about a specific topic, let me know.