Why do people associate disagreement with offense?

Last Update: November 02, 2016

Why do people associate disagreement with offense?

It is OK to disagree. If someone has a different point of view or different opinion about something, why do most people get offended and treat the person they disagree with like their enemy?

I disagree with people all the time. In fact, some of the people that I have the best relationships with, including my immediate family, are also the people I have strong disagreements with. However, these disagreements do not affect the way we feel about each other.

Please don't view disagreement as a negative thing. The ability to think for ourselves and form our own opinions is what makes us unique. Uniqueness should be praised.

Do you avoid disagreeable conversations? Do you like a healthy, informed, debate, or do you try to avoid conversational confrontation?

I would be interested in thoughts and further discussion about this topic.

Please comment below, even if you disagree. :)

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drjec Premium
I don't like conflict, but disagreement is something else. Its as you described it. Its healthy. I have always tried to have pretty negative people in my advisory group because I tend to be too positive about new ideas... not realistic enough. I think that disagreement is good as long as everyone realizes that the person is valued and so is the idea even if there is disagreement. For me, if my disagreement caused my to miss a great idea, i often went back, picked up that idea and thanked the person.
Because a lot of people these days believe that their emotional opinion trumps logical facts....Think with emotion react with emotion....Personally if someone gets all emotional over simple matters when presented with facts, I tend to avoid them. The same person will usually blow a wire or melt down in a truly emotional situation. Too much hard work and aggravation to be around such high strung people if you ask me lol.
ChrisC1972 Premium
In my humble opinion, and your free to disagree with me. there are a number of factors that influence how people react to disagreements.

1. would be delivery - sometimes, people delivering the contra argument aren't always tactful in their delivery and a disagreement can come across as a personal attack.

An old boss of mine was excellent at delivering a challenge or registering a disagreement in person because she did it with a smile and her intentions were clear.

A lot of disagreements nowadays happen online and there is nothing like text for misinterpreting someone's tone or misunderstand someone's meaning.

2. would be personal investment - you mention that you have the most disagreement with you family and loved ones and what they have is a personal investment in maintaining a positive relationship with you, which means they are likely to be more tolerant or see your challenges for what they are, an attempt to have good discourse on a topic.

If people aren't invested in you in any way they become less tolerant and sometimes completely belligerent!

I love nothing more than a good two sided debate which either changes my mind or consolidates my opinion, but in my opinion, people start conversations with a view to personal validation, which leaves them open to criticism or challenge and this is seen as an open attack.

The best debates I've had are around the kitchen table, over a good meal and few drinks. The worst are in a forum or on social media, where the constraints of civility are removed.

Maybe that's a third factor - social setting.

Your thoughts are welcome!
DanielF1313 Premium
That's quite true. I often have to argue with ppl at my day job, and they can take personally and to levels that should never get reached. I'm sorry, but that saying. "Customers is always right," is wrong. Some ppl can't be reasoned with no matter how right you are or what eveidence, proof, whatever you may have. It's quite interesting and yet very annoying. Especially on an almost daily basis. Great subject matter to blog about :)
Lol, I work in retail and you are 100% correct...."The customer is always right" is the most ridiculous statement ever spread into popular culture lol.....Next time a customer makes a request you can't fulfill, try telling them "no".....If you want to see a grown adult throw a tantrum like a 5 year old who has been told "no more cookies"....Just tell them "no" and enjoy the show lol
DanielF1313 Premium
Lol, you got that right. I work in the automotive quick lube services. And man, I tell you some ppl can just not be reasoned with. Especially when it comes to ones vehicle. I think we all know how we can n when it comes to the vehicle. Not to mention it's needed services. Just like kids, we never grow up. Lol :)
kiliwia62 Premium
Douglas, great post, and question. Just this morning I talked with my husband about this issue.

People seem to be more and more "fixed" in their point op views and opinion. There seems no listening to the other person's opinion anymore.

We live in a "self=rightous" society or this is my way or the highway attitude.

This, of course, doesn't mean to get a person always away from their stands or on your site but at least think about what the other person tries to communicate should be a given.

We do live in a world of "political" correctness, oh man do I hate this word, lol, and because of that, people can't or won't agree, not even an inch, with someone else's viewpoint.

It is a shame, we could learn so much from each other by just listening and think about it first before opposing the other person what they have to say.

Well, this is just my 2 cents.