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It’s all a matter of perspective: Finding common ground in a divided world


People, for the most part, like interacting with other people – a detail that Aristotle had already pointed out more than 2,000 years ago. This behavior, he added, is the foundation of human relationships, and even society as a whole. However, as a person builds a relationship with another person (be it romantic or a professional one), they are bound to run into conflict, an ever-present process in human relations. In a study, American sociologists John Lewis Gillin and John Philip Gillin defined conflict as “the social process in which individuals or groups seek their ends by directly challenging the antagonist by violence or threat of violence.”

The current social and political situation in the U.S. is a great example of how conflicts affect a society as a whole. The findings presented in the latest political typology of the Pew Research Center reveals a diversely fractured political landscape not only between conservatives and liberals but also differing attitudes, values, and affiliations on certain issues both between and within coalitions. This has led to multiple instances where the two sides of the aisle have clashed on issues – the most popular of which is immigration. (Related: FACT CHECK: 80% of illegal children trying to enter the United States arrive without their parents… they aren’t “separated” by ICE.)

Of course, the process affects us as well, especially when others challenge our beliefs and opinions to prove and advance their own. In his video, Dan Radiostyle lets us in on how to find a common ground with these people, despite our differences.

Watch the full episode from REAL.video here:

Seeing the light at the end of a conflicted tunnel

It’s common for a person to see everything that’s wrong with someone else. However, what most people don’t realize is that these things that look “wrong” in a person serve as a contrast to his own beliefs and attitudes.

“We forget that contrast is actually a good thing,” Dan explains. “We forget that having that thing we don’t want to experience, oftentimes, can reaffirm what it is we do want.”

The differences that a person sees in others, he added, is meant to drive him to the things that he wants for himself – which is the true purpose of contrasts. However, a lot of people not only identify these differences as “wrong,” but they also reject everything about a person or a statement – especially if the other person’s idea doesn’t align with what they believe to be right. This creates a situation similar to that of a witness in a court of law, where a lawyer can discredit the witness if his testimony is wrong.

When this happens, Dan suggests looking at things objectively – both the good and the bad – and not dismissing the whole picture. It also helps if you come from a place of understanding; looking at the person in conflict with you and thinking of his good traits, rather than judging him wholly for the idea that you are at odds with.

“You see all these things and we focus on that,” he adds. “We lose sight of the things that are good.”

Turning things around

It’s never easy to find something positive out of a disagreeable person or a conflicting idea, but it’s well worth the effort. For one, it affects the energy a person is giving off: Those who always look at the negatives in others tend to be disagreeable themselves, while those who don’t tend to have a more positive outlook. Here are some things Dan suggests that can make finding a common ground with others easier.

  • Focus on something you enjoy. Most people stress over things that aren’t beneficial or those that don’t have any value. Centering on the things that connect us helps a person understand other people and situations better.
  • Focus on the similarities. Instead of dwelling on what makes everyone different, Dan recommends looking at the things that make us similar. “How many similarities actually exist will surprise you most of the time,” he added. Of course, that doesn’t mean people should bury their heads in the sand and ignore conflict altogether; rather, it’s looking at negative things from a unique perspective.
  • Focus on the things that are. Taking stock of what’s working in our lives can help us find good, even in conflict. “From that place, you can continue to progress forward [and] keep your energy in a more attractive environment,” Dan explains. It also helps people have more abundant thought processes and build better relationships with people.

“We need to find those ways to bridge those gaps,” he added.

This feature, which talks about seeing the good in all situations, can be viewed at this link.

Learn more about human behavior at MindBodyScience.news.

Sources include:

REAL.video

SociologyDiscussion.com

People-Press.org

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