5 ways to disagree without hurting or offending others

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Conversational tricks

By Aditya Shukla, Psychologist, Author



If conversations get too heated because of disagreements, this is for you. Use these conversational tricks in your workplace, relationships, and your friend circle.

When someone is explaining why things happen half correctly

Say: "That's the right context, absolutely. But here's a finer detail that grabbed my attention – and you go on explaining in your way." Instead of: "that's wrong, I know the right explanation"


When someone gives a popular type of misinformation

Say: 'Wow, I was not expecting that. I've heard something totally different all my life. And one experience for sure looked that way.' Instead of: that's a myth, bro. This makes the speaker defensive and less welcoming of new information



1. Accusations of them being wrong 2. Avoid assuming you know the facts 3. Don't dismiss the experience because the explanation was wrong. The point of conversation is usually bonding with others, not scientific debate.

When someone gives the right explanation but you fell for a myth

Say: 'That sounds correct, but I got convinced otherwise. I don't know what your experience is, or how much you've explored, but in my limited experience, this is what I concluded!' Instead of: See you are the expert, I'm just a layman talking. This makes the conversation a power-play where the listener feels and behaves less engaged, and the expert becomes more authoritative


When someone seems to know more but you aren't picking up on their wisdom

Say: 'Ok, I'm not understanding, so why is this happening to me?' Instead of: I don't think this applies to me.


When someone is too upset about something you both experienced but they have all the wrong facts

Say: I'm trying to understand that you are upset, but I can't follow what you are saying. Instead of: That definitively doesn't make sense, This takes attention away from the emotion, when the speaker prioritizes emotions.