Seeing Another Point of View

Sometimes, when you and a friend have an argument, you both feel the other one is wrong, and you are right, and you stay mad at each other forever. But there may be times when you have to get along, so you need to think of ways of doing that.

The first thing to remember is: say that your biology teacher has told you to go into the woods and identify a certain type of tree. You may find that when you are standing on one side of the same tree, and your friend is standing on the other side, you may see the same tree, but that tree will look totally different. On your side it will have 12 branches; on your friend’s side it will have only 10. On your side maybe most of the leaves have been blown away, but on your friend’s side the branches look like they have a lot of leaves. It’s the same tree, and you’re both looking at it, but you both see things so differently!

The way to start talking without arguing and calling each other wrong is to start with those things that you do agree on:  are you both looking at this tree to find out what species it is? Then that is something you can agree upon. Do you both like the woods, or do you both hate walking around on the leaves? Are by both tired of the assignment your biology teacher gave you? Do you both like the pretty clouds you can see above the trees?

And even though one of you might hate the woods, and the other love it; even though you may enjoy the biology teacher a lot and your friend may hate the class, you can always look for something to agree on. The real thing is: keep looking for things you agree on, and then start discussing the tree when you agree, not when you disagree. This is the best way to work together, especially when you must.

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