What is it that you guess someone is thinking when s/he holds an opposing view to yours? What's the hang up ? Choose your favourite topic.
What is it that you think someone is thinking when s/he hold an opposite opinion to yours on your most strongly held belief? If you give them credit for being intelligent and sincere what do you think the obstacle might be to seeing things the same way- on global warming, on terrorism, on plutonomy, on education?
Do they know something that you don't?
Are they just stubborn or under educated on the topic?
Are they putting too much weight on one set of facts?
Are they protecting something that they hold dear?
Are they failing to integrate an important piece of intormaiton?
Do they have an advantage for themselves in holding that opinion?
Please share any reasons or insights of your own.
Closing Statement from Debra Smith
There are 10 steps.
Most crucial is the tenth so it is where I begin:
10. That still small voice that starts to niggle and ask us if it is WE who have the rigid schemas or stereotypes of flaw in the logic. What signals us to an invalid schema? Where the conversation (and our personal growth) goes from there is determined by how we answer this- the BIG question.
1. Our understanding of misalignment usually dawns to us in stages.
2.If we are not in instant alignment we usually assume that we have not expressed ourselves clearly or that we are talking about different things. We remind ourselves that words are inaccurate things and try harder for better metaphors or better logic.
3. We assume we would agree if we were on the same page.
4. We have individual styles of communicating with some believing that you speak less when you know more and others believing that you should keep trying to change the words, the metaphors and the logical approach.
5. We may reach a stage where we remind ourselves that no one knows the definative truth. We ask if their information is accurate, is it salient to the discussion is it an important piece of the puzzle.
6.But -confirmational biases creep in and we begin to feel as " I know you think you understand what you thought I said, but I'm not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant" Now I can easily confront myself- language still can be a precise, perfect tool. We try some more.
7. We begin to suspect that something else is at work in this process. We may start to feel emotions like anger, frustration, or sadness. We wonder what's wrong with us or our communication abilities or what's wrong with them?
8. We start to wonder about their world view. What is there schema like? How do they construct their world view?
9. We wonder how diligently they have constructed their world view. We may wonder about their built in traits - are they an introvert or an extravert, are they by nature open to information. are they conscientious in gathering the information and is it valid, are they basically an agreeable person or a curmudgeon Or maybe they're just plain neurotic?