How to Talk to People Who Don't Agree with You

How to Talk to People Who Don't Agree with You

These difficult conversations can be the linchpin of meaningful change.

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I hate to reiterate a truism that is nearly become cliché: we live in divided times. I feel these divides when I brew tea in the morning, scroll through Instagram, and chat with peers. I especially feel them when I visit my family or read the news.

These divides appear most painfully (and sadly) in conversations. Words are more powerful now than ever before, and they are leaving an alarming trail of debris and damage behind them.

Divided times mean more difficult conversations. It's easy to sidestep these conversations; I'm guilty of avoiding challenging chats. (I'd prefer to read a book and drink espresso, you know?)

Yet these difficult conversations are urgent. They may be the linchpin of meaningful change. They may also be the linchpin of personal change and community growth. We need to talk about what's going on out there, and especially with those "from the other side."

Keep these things in mind as you go about preparing to have those tough talks with people who don't quite share your perspective.

Drop the "us vs. them" mentality.

Conversations about the pros and cons of vaping, who should be president next, or abortion (eep!) can easily create "sides." These camps of support or opposition are ultimately not helpful for anything beyond political polls. They can be fundamentally divisive when brought into a conversation.

It can be tempting to join these camps once the other party begins to speak. Do what you can to abandon this mentality, however. Ask the other party to do so as well—respectfully and kindly.

You may struggle to step into this mental space of neutrality. The next few tips can help you lay down this boxing-ring mentality more easily.

Take a breath before you speak—every time.

I made the same point in my post about productive arguing. Having conversations with people who don't share your perspective can feel like arguments. They may hover over vast wells of emotion. They may become an argument.

To ensure that your conversation doesn't tip so closely into a shouting match, focus on your breath.

Take a deep belly breath before you speak, and try to do so every time you open your mouth. Be sure the other party is done speaking before you respond, and ask if he or she is finished before doing so.

A single breath can give you grounding, disintegrate any latent spiky emotion (anger, fear), and help you speak more slowly.

Ask more questions.

I love questions. They are vehicles for productive discussion and they can flatter, in a way, the person you're conversing with. Questions give you a chance to catch your breath and your partner to explore their perspective further.

Both can be valuable, especially if you're feeling resistant to or triggered by something the other person has said. The more time your conversation partner has to really outline their reasoning, the more insight you can have into their perspective—which can neutralize triggering emotions and even bring some empathy into the mix.

Ask considerate, open questions, such as "Can you elaborate on that point more?" or "Can you give me an example?" These questions show your interest in learning more and can be delivered sans emotion.

End the conversation with agreement.

After a difficult conversation, things may feel a bit rocky. Try to smooth out these normal rocks by ending the conversation in the spirit of agreement.

This may mean changing the subject. It may mean asking your partner: "What can we agree on here?" Mention that you'd like to close the conversation on brighter terms. This means that the last word will be a positive, shared one—you may even go out to ice cream after!

A lot of what I discuss here has to do with active listening and presence. It can be hard to channel these habits into a prickly conversation, so even if you're only able to integrate these tips for part of a discussion, bravo!

Here's to productive conversations—and the positive change they enforce.

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5 Wedding Hairstyles For The Bride With Rapunzel-Like Hair

Stunning wedding hairstyles especially for brides with longer hair.

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In the event that you have long hair and you are making sense of how to manage your hair for the big day, perusing this may very well spare you.

More often than not, Rapunzel-like ladies are frightened of getting excessively hair covering the front of her face under the cloak. Being too wild is likewise one issue, so some resort into getting it trimmed or abbreviated for the event. However, that shouldn't be the situation.

Here are a couple of beyond any doubt methods for wearing your long hair upon the arrival of the wedding without the need of shedding a couple of inches.

1. Lay it down straight

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Got lovely, stick straight and impeccably gleaming hair? Display it out and don't let the cover out sparkle it. Get a headband type tiara to help shield the strands from straying into your face as you state "I do."

Ensure that your hair won't choke you as the breeze blows or be snared in the beading subtleties of the outfit. Check if the length of the hair won't barge in the outfit's trimmed or style.

2. One-sided

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Breadth the majority of your locks to the other side, contingent upon which side you believe you are most OK with. Just the ladies with long bolts can pull off this look. Extra adornments like a little tiara brush or blossoms can be added to the haircut to give it a little edge and energy.

The hair can be prodded for more volume or twisted at the base for a progressively fantastic look.

3. Sensational twists

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Either by a hair curler or a perm treatment, twists bring out sentiment and body to your wedding look. On the off chance that you are going for the twists to be restricted to the lower half of your hair, the headband tiara still works incredibly as an emphasis.

A touch up may be required if the twists are escaping before the supper has even begun.

4. Half up, half down

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Half dos are perfect in the event that despite everything you need to have your hair down to light up your face yet don't need your grin to be concealed. Some hairdressers can even make a rose, smaller than expected bun or a complete style with your hair at the back. Concerning adornments, an exquisite yet straightforward tiara would work — not excessively but rather sufficiently only to shimmer.

5. The exemplary bun

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Definitely, a major bun over the lady of the hour's hair delegated with a complex wedding tiara is everything necessary. Indeed, long hair might be a waste on the off chance that just kept covered up at the same time, envision the conceivable outcomes all on the grounds that the beauticians inspire a great deal of material to work with.

With the likelihood of interlaces, twirls, circles, prodding and weaving the look of the bun won't be much the same as some other out there. Matched with crowns and tiaras folded over the bun, this great lady of the hour look has been the one you've been longing for since age six.

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What Your 20's Are All About

Authenticity.

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Being a twenty-something is glorious.

It's easy. It's beautiful. It often looks like a pair of designer cut-offs or a laptop on a beach. It isn't terribly serious.

In fact, it's rarely serious. Yet it makes sense--more sense than any other age because it's newly educated, self-discovered, and hopeful.

Right?

This is what social media tells me. It is what college told me. It is something many of us believe.

I am convinced, however, that there is more to it than this.

Someone or some book neglected to add a few more postscripts to this chapter of the Book of Life. Or maybe they were lodged under the "Recommended Reading" portion of the syllabus (and hence overlooked).

Whatever the case, your real twenties are about something in between the really good vodka and the wandering. That something has the power to shape this decade of your life into a different kind of gem.

(Yes, you can cut your teeth on it.)

Uncertainty

College (or life after high school) somehow perpetuates the myth that graduation precedes a concrete stairway. And that stairway leads clearly to a life path, a career, a vision, and a culmination, all to the tune of Jimmy Hendrix.

A bachelor's or associate's degree initiates many into the world of work and careerdom. But it does not necessarily make things any more certain.

Perhaps you've graduated with a degree in French literature and suddenly feel an impulse to stare at lots of graphs and statistics.

Maybe you have no impulse whatsoever. You have hobbies—fixing bikes, swiping left—but cannot seem to grasp a vision.

If you're like I was in my twenties, perhaps you sense you want to do everything your parents didn't, if only your feet would touch ground sometime soon.

This decade is definitively unknown. Not having a solid sense of what comes next is not an inherent fault of yours; it's part and parcel of life's whimsical years.

Want in on a shinier secret? All decades are uncertain. This one just feels the ripest.

If you wake up every morning and have no answers (or job, or health insurance, or girlfriend, or house), great! You're doing this right. Answers will emerge, but in the meantime, sit with the discomfort of being simply where you are at.

Forgiveness

As the decade of uncertainty unfolds, lean into it. I found that I could get more comfortable with being an unknown entity in my twenties by forgiving myself (and others).

You don't have to go to an ashram to practice forgiveness, although I'm not discouraging you from this path. Nor do you have to start embracing a new religion or giving up red meat and Cheetos.

Forgiveness starts with awareness. Beginning to recognize the difference between personal goals and societal demands is the prelude to following a gentler, more visionary path.

When I forgave myself for being a perfectionist, despairing that I would never find a job, and wondering if I really should have chosen my English major, life became much easier.

Science also tells us that our brains are still firing, forming, and developing in our twenties.

As such, friendships may peel away. Certain kinds of knowledge may dissolve. You may start to realize that holding grudges or avoiding conflict isn't worth it anymore—or is now worth forgiveness.

Forgiveness can also be empowering. It's one of many doors that can shuttle you more effectively into the unknown (with grace and a good pair of heels).

Exchange

Everything we learn in childhood, high school, and beyond is not necessarily the truth. The decade of your twenties is about the conscious and willing abandonment of past ideals, notions, and information.

To some, this may be simple rebellion. To others, it may be part of the self's natural evolution.

To me, it's about an exchange.

Being in your twenties can involve trading in those old ideas for more relevant ones. It's like a consignment store for self.

At this stage in life, a lot of things crumble. A lot of new buildings and scaffolding develop. Sometimes, this is brutal. It may feel unfair. It may feel like a relief.

No one is here to say that you have to be the self of your childhood or the self of eighteen (or last year). Mindfully weeding out the old and heralding in a more graceful, informed you will make that part of your thirties that much easier.

Risk

If you haven't gotten the memo yet, this is all really risky.

I mean, trekking across Mongolia, coming out, changing your name, abandoning your career, or taking up deep water diving isn't easy.

Forgiving yourself and leaning into uncertainty—those are hard, too.

A lot can get lost. A lot more can crack, splinter, and explode. It's a minefield for the mind and heart.

This decade may be the riskiest of your life. But that's how you know you're playing a good hand.

Without risk, the path becomes in danger of getting "too comfortable." That's one thing we millennials can agree on, at least—to be comfortable is to be stagnant.

I say, be risky. Feel imperiled, whether it involves a belief system or relationship or vision. On the other side of risk is knowing.

Authenticity

This decade is yours. It can shimmer, darken, or expand depending on what you do with it. No one can tell you otherwise.

Society may urge you to be free, playful, and exuberant in your twenties. Excellent.

It may also urge you to be driven, focused, and cynical. Also excellent.

But your twenties are really all about authenticity, or what you do with it. The greatest years of your life won't necessarily be college—they may just be the ones in which you chose to live powerfully within the scope of your greatest and truest self.

If no one was there to prep you for your twenties, or if you feel that the ones who were got it all wrong, take these words to heart. Be uncertain and timid. But also be audacious and genuine.

The one who's looking closest is, after all, you.

Note: Another version of this piece appeared on Thought Catalog.

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