4 Ways to Consider Opposing Viewpoints
Adversity often stems from people having misinformation about a situation. People assume information that isn’t true, but they act on it as if it was. To counter this situation, learn how to take the other end of an argument or the opposing viewpoint.
Consider Your Opponent
The first step is to consider the people you have an issue with and learn more about them. You may not agree with their political views or have some other bias against them in some way. For instance, religion is always a topic that creates different standpoints and beliefs.
There is no excuse for not finding information about your adversaries. The internet has loads of information on every topic imaginable. Stating that you don’t know much about a person’s heritage, religion, or opposing view won’t be an easy argument. People will ask why you didn’t look it up. If you are stuck finding information, visit your local library and ask the reference librarian. They are skilled at research and can help you.
Seek Out Alternative Sources
Read material that you would never find yourself reading. Do this even if you’re not facing an adversarial situation. It gets you in the mindset of accepting differences in others. You can look for magazines and books, or you can view blogs and forums related to the topic you want to learn.
No one says you have to agree with opposing views. You only want to learn more about them so that you have information on your side. When you make arguments with information, it will become difficult to challenge them as you can cite your sources.
Play devil’s advocate when approaching any subject. Try to pose questions that your adversaries would pose from their opposing position. See if you can understand why they would pose those questions. It may get you to rethink your own beliefs.
It’s also important to understand the motivations of your adversaries. Sometimes, people try to raise money for a cause, and they will use propaganda to get people to buy into their way of thinking. When this happens, knowing the truth and facts will help you to confront people acting in this manner.
Keep it Civil
Try to refrain from name-calling as this never solves the problem. It makes you appear petty and can strengthen the adversaries’ position. It’s okay to argue with people when you have the facts on your side. However, some people won’t accept those facts no matter how hard you try to get them to consider them. When this happens, there isn’t much you can do except walk away from the situation.