A Speech on “How to Disagree with Someone Respectfully?”

Disagreements are quite inevitable and it is absolutely ok to disagree. So what should we do when it is not possible for us to agree with someone or something? Should we keep our mouths shut or say what we think? And if we speak, what should we say so that we don’t disrespect that person.

Just imagine that you are talking to your friend. She says something you disagree with. Sometimes, in a casual situation disagreeing isn’t an issue. It can be done casually and the person doesn’t get hurt. But what about serious situations or decisions? What if the person could take offense? This can be tricky, and needs to be dealt with tactfully.

Firstly, you need to decide if the subject is worth disagreeing about. What would happen if you just kept quiet? What would be the consequences of your silence? What would be the consequences of disagreeing? Sometimes it’s really not worth it. Just let it go.

But if you have decided to say something, there are a few techniques you must follow. Most important is the tone of your voice. You must take extra care to keep all sarcasm or frustration out of your tone. This seems really hard sometimes. But being calm can help.

In order to have a good frame of mind and control your tone of voice, try to see things from the perspective of the others. Sometimes if a person uses a rude tone, try to think, maybe she has a headache or perhaps he’s having a bad day.  This can quickly help cool down. With these positive thoughts, you can disagree with a respectful tone of voice. But another thing you have to be very careful about is your choice of words.

You can even try some indirect phrases. Try phrases like, “Are you sure that’s possible?” or “Really? I wonder if it works like that.” With these you are not insulting that person directly.

You can disagree indirectly. Just because it’s black doesn’t mean you need to say that directly on the face. You can instead say, ‘It’s not white!’

Again try to use softer words. Choice of words is very important. Instead of “You don’t understand” try “Perhaps I’m not explaining myself well enough” nor “Can you tell me why you think that way?”

There are some words that you should not use while disagreeing. Avoid saying these.

Don’t say you are sorry. The word sorry is seriously overused. Only use it when you have done something to hurt another person. Many people will say, “Sorry, I disagree.” You should not be sorry to be disagreeing with something. Understand that your opinion has value, so respect yourself.

Again don’t say “but” This is another one that is mostly used. “Yes, but…” or “I agree up to a point, but…” When you say but you are just negating everything you said before. You have just admitted to common ground, or you have just given the person a compliment, then you are taking it back by saying “but.” 

“However” is a similar word but less harsh than “but”.

Hence diplomatic disagreement is a great way to win friends and influence people and will help you in life.

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