Disagreements, and having to be around those who you don’t always agree with can be an everyday annoyance. However, interacting with those you don’t agree with doesn’t always have to be painful. Getting into awkward or stressful confrontations with others isn’t ideal and many of us try to avoid them at all costs. A little bit of kindness, though, can turn what might be a stressful confrontation into a healthy conversation. Being kind to someone you may disagree with is not always an easy task but there are five easy ways you can make communicating with someone you don’t agree with much easier.

1) Choose your words carefully

During the heat of an argument it may be difficult to think before you speak. However, it is important that you always think about what you’re going to say before you say it. Choosing your words carefully allows you to have a well-versed conversation with someone rather than insulting them. If you are unsure about whether or not your message will come off as rude, just practice it out loud. Remember, speak to others in the same way you would want to be spoken to.

2) Listen Intently

Sometimes we go into conversations carrying assumption about the person we’re talking to. Sometimes we go into the interaction with preconceived notions of how the encounter will occur. By listening intently to the other person’s feelings and perspective, you may begin to understand their reasoning and logic. Listening intently allows you to hear what the person is truly saying and allows you to have a much better understanding of their point of view.

3) Agree to Disagree

Sometimes, you just have to walk away from a situation. Some people are not looking for a balanced conversation, rather a fight. Conceding from an argument does not mean your position is not valid, or that you are wrong in your beliefs. Walking away from a heated argument allows you to say when the conversation is over, and allows you to maintain the power in the conversation.

4) Remain Optimistic

In order steer the conversation in the right direction, remain optimistic. People can disagree on many things and still manage to be best friends, lovers, and more. When trying to be kind to someone who you do not agree with, remember the positive aspects of your relationship and, understand that what you disagree on is just one aspect of life. When you bring a positive attitude to the table it’s hard for a disagreement to turn negative.

5) View it from their perspective

When trying to decipher another person’s reasoning for something, view it from their perspective. Everyone has a reason for believing in what they do, some are more personal than others, but everyone deserves to have their perspective looked at. Trying to be kind to someone you don’t agree with is a difficult task, but understanding why someone believes what they believe might allow you to be more accepting, and in turn, allow you to be kind and respectful of them.

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