Think of the last time you disagreed with another person. Maybe you argued with a sibling over what to watch on TV. Or perhaps you tried to convince grown-ups that ice cream makes a better dinner than vegetables. How did your disagreement end? Were you able to see the issue from the other person’s perspective?
In many situations, disagreements are inevitable. They’re part of life. After all, everyone has different opinions. We all have past experiences that shape how we see the world. Still, not all disagreements are bad. In fact, many people look at them as opportunities to learn. They do so by trying to understand where both sides are coming from.
How can you understand both sides of an issue? Often, it’s best to start by asking questions. You probably already know that we’re a pretty big fan of questions here in Wonderopolis. And for good reason! Questions help us learn about the world around us.
The right questions can also help us learn about other people. In a disagreement, asking for more information can help you learn about a person’s viewpoint. It can also lead you to gather more facts. This can paint a better picture of the entire issue.
When seeking to understand both sides of an issue, it’s important to know the difference between facts and opinions. Remember, facts are based on true information. Opinions are subjective and can change from person to person. Paying attention to facts can stop biases from taking over in a disagreement. This can help everyone involved see both sides of the issue.
Maybe you’re WONDERing why it’s important to understand both sides of an issue, anyway. After all, don’t most people just want to prove that their side is right? Often, that’s true. However, understanding the whole issue can lead to both sides working together.
Do you like to help both sides of an issue better understand each other? If so, you might call yourself a purple person! You know what we’re talking about if you’ve ever read “The World Needs More Purple People” by Kristen Bell and Benjamin Hart.
Do purple people wear only violet-hued clothing? Do they paint themselves purple? No, of course not! Instead, they strive to understand others who hold different worldviews from their own. This helps purple people work together, even if they don’t agree on everything.
Are you a purple person? Can you see both sides of any issue? Disagreements may be uncomfortable at first. However, when both sides truly try to understand each other, they often find they have more in common than they thought. The next time you disagree with another person, try asking them questions about their viewpoint. You never know what you might learn.
Read more at Wonderpolis.org