When you are facing and opposing opposition it can be a major stressors in your life. We would just as soon avoid and run from presumed conflict than to learn to address it effectively. If we are being honest, we all wish everyone agreed with us, all the time, about everything. Am I right?
Shifting How We See Opposing Opposition
What if we could shift the way we see opposition? What if we no longer opposed it?
First off we can look at why we oppose opposition, then we can look at ways to transform the way we deal with it.
We do everything in our power to find people who agree with us. Throughout our whole lives we seek to find like-minded people we can let our guard down around. We seek to find people who live the way we live, think the way we think, and feel the way we feel.
What happens when someone doesn’t agree with you?
- What’s your go-to response/reaction?
- What does it depend on?
Do you ever notice that the closer you get to people, the higher the stakes get in your hopes of finding FULL alignment? And that it’s an even bigger disappointment when you spot differences. Think about it, every other person you know thinks or feels a little different than you, in some way.
Why We Oppose Opposition
It’s interesting to look at when opposition is accepted and when it’s flat out opposed. Where is that line in the sand for you? Does it come down to your core values? How close you are to the person? What you need from that person?
Let’s take an honest look at some of the ways we operate and let’s acknowledge what works and what doesn’t, and what we can transform.
Are you beginning to see things could be different?
Are you beginning to wonder if there’s another way?
I wonder if we can begin to see just how ridiculous this all is? That the whole freaking world is a mosaic of diversity. No other human now, nor ever, will actually fully see things the way YOU see things.
And that’s not a bad thing.
Maybe just maybe we don’t have to oppose opposition, like many of us do. We could learn instead to seek the big picture. We could learn to not have it impact us the way it has. We could learn to see that it just might be an old story from our past that pokes at our feelings of being misunderstood that has us react. What if we were ok being misunderstood? What could be available then?
Our negative reactions in life are rarely about the current situation, but rather a stockpile of unresolved pain and feelings of being disempowered in the past.
In the face of it all we have the ability to bring new awareness. What if it’s all an invitation? An invitation to share ourselves and offer people the chance to be enrolled in our view?
Moving forward we could deepen the way we relate to people, instead of bumping up against opposition walled, we can begin to recognize that there’s always something connecting us to every situation and person. There’s always things to agree upon, for those seeking to see the big picture. By building this bridge we have the start of a conversation, and a sliver of a chance to be heard.
Fight Or Flight When Opposed
Sadly however our view of opposition puts many into fight, flight, freeze, or fawn mode. This a natural response to situations that feel unsafe.
When we can take pause and let our rational minds catch up we can then create the space for connection to be there. By default many of us only seek to spot differences, especially after we have put people into the “we have NOTHING in common box.”
You ever notice that once you put someone in that box they can’t say anything right and that you stop listening for anything you guys have in common? Have you ever been put in that box, where someone has decided they have nothing in common with you? Read on because there’s a solution to that.
Now as we have seen online throughout the pandemic there are places and spaces where agreement is demanded, or else. There are many people only looking to seek full agreement and there’s no room for anything outside of that. I don’t know about you but that to me screams disaster…..as stated above the closer we get and the more we know about others, there’s a good chance you’ll discover some differences. So I ask, are you prepared to navigate these differences staying committed to what really matters: creating transparent honest relationships. We have to be weary of when we are only invited if we fully agree.
Once we have had the experiences of being shut down, or disregarded for being different we are forever impacted. We fall harder into fight, flight, freeze or fawn mode after having these experiences. And sadly, we have all had these experiences at some point.
What If There Was Another Way
What if there was a chance to transform this response to opposition?
What if we could all agree that we have all been quick to judge and dismiss people for NOT thinking, seeing, or feeling the way we do?
We have all been guilty of wishing EVERYONE could just get on board, smarten up and see it OUR way.
Everywhere we turn there is a fork in the road. We can choose the path of seeing the ways in which we are all different. We can sink into that perspective and dig our heels in even more, cutting ourselves off and isolating and demanding everyone around us get in line.
Or, we can begin to see just how ridiculous it is that ANY of us operate this way. We can start to see that we are all too quick to snap judge and categorize people into categories they can never get out of. We can begin to soften into the fact that it’s all ok. As we look out into our lives and into the world we can see just how interconnected we all are.
We can enroll people into the why’s in which we see things the ways we do, and we can invite them to do the same. We can embrace the uniqueness of our personal journey upon which our view has been formed. We can enter into conversations that are committed to connection.
So Now What
We could allow others to come from their jaded view that ONLY differences exist. We can stand on the receiving side of that view, and be honest about what that brings up for us. We can share our commitment to finding things in common, for the sake of the relationship. We can bring awareness to the parts and pieces that in fact align. We can honor the fact and acknowledge the differences. We can admit that the differences bring up feelings of past triggers which make us feel unsafe. We can share our hope that we can create closeness in the face of it all.
We can be the sources and the examples of the people who don’t oppose opposition but rise above and look down and transform it all. We can see that when people feel unseen and misunderstood it is a challenge to bring compassion and understanding in.
We can flip the coin and seek to see the similarities instead of just the stark differences.
We can soften the way we relate to one another. We can heal the parts of ourselves that interpret differences as a threat. We can empathize that OUR differing views might always be seen as threatening to some.
We can eliminate so much stress from our lives (and from the lives of others) by simply having deeper conversations about our silly human ways.