Finding Reasons To Agree

What’s your reaction when somebody is telling something you don’t like? Is it unconditionally “Yes”? Is it unconditionally “No”? It’s something in between? Do you usually find reasons to agree or to disagree? I ask because finding reasons to agree seems to be one of the most difficult mindsets these days.

We seem to be programmed to challenge, to fight, to counterattack. We seem to be conditioned to loudly mark our point of vue, most of the time by openly disagreeing with the other part, like this would be the only way our personality could survive. There is a whole mindset in favor of disagreeing. Every time somebody is trying to say something, we seem to first find reasons to reject what the other just said, and only if we haven’t find any, then we agree.

That’s weird. That’s a mindset of fear. A mindset of rejection. A defensive strategy. Defensive against what? Are we really acting like every other person is our enemy (or, if you prefer business terms, competition)? Have you ever thought how time consuming is this strategy? How much energy you spend only to identify reasons to disagree?

Growing versus Resistance

If you have a mindset of disagreeing you’re resisting, you’re not growing. If you analyze constantly what other are saying, trying to find breches for your own ideas, trying to find their mistakes, trying to find their negligences, you’re acting against your nature. You’re not here to reject others. Even if you’re going to succeed, the result will be pretty sad: you’ll end up alone.

On the other hand, finding reasons to agree gives you room to grow. Even if overall you’re not totally agreeing with the other guy, the simple shift in attitude towards agreement will give you something back. Will give you a new perspective, will make you understand more. It’s not about what makes you unique, about your originality and ideas, you’ll always have that, no need to make your personality visible by contrasting with other people – it’s about your attitude. An attitude of acceptance rather than rejection.

I am pretty sure that plants, water and sun have a lot of reasons to agree. They seems to go along pretty well. I don’t see how a plant could disagree with the water, because is different from it, and accept it only if it passes some kind of test. I also don’t see how the sunlight could disagree with the plants and not offering them what they need in order to grow. The agreement here is total. And constant. Those nature parts are having an attitude of agreement. Sometimes they’re rejecting each other, when the size is too big for instance (too much sun or too much water are not good for the plants). But initially, they’re having an unconditional agreement.

Agreement versus Obeisance

Finding reasons to agree doesn’t mean you’re blindly accepting everything others are saying. It’s not like you’re going to take everything for granted. Finding reasons to agree means first assessing what the other part is saying or doing. Means trying to understand what the other is talking about, what are the reasons behind his talk. Finding reasons to agree means accepting the other guy reality.

Obeisance, on the other hand, means walking in the other shoes without any assessment whatsoever. Obeisance means listening without understanding. It’s like obeying a direct order. Which is something necessary if you’re in a war and you’re a soldier. But you’re not in a war, and you’re not a soldier. Most of the time.

What’s The Catch?

Finding reasons to agree as opposed to finding reasons to disagree is a very thin but important line in one’s behavior. I’ve been on both realms many times. I’ve been a bully entrepreneur, ready to fight for my “ideas”, or products, or services. I had this mindset of “let’s try to find a mistake here”. I looked at people waiting for their first wrong move. And it doesn’t felt good.

I mean, you can have results if you’re behaving like this. I know I had. And many successful entrepreneurs are very aggressive and intimidating. They’re relying on the other guy wrong move. They’re acting with the mindset of “finding reasons to disagree”. The only downside of this attitude, at least for me, was the incredible weariness I had to face after a full day of work. It was like I was pushing a 100 wagons train by myself. I was literally drained.

When you act like this, you’re cutting your energy refilling sources. If you’re finding reasons to disagree, you’re telling the Universe he’s wrong. And the Universe respond back as you intended: wrong. You’re alone and your connection with others is burned. That’s the catch.

Finding reasons to agree works in a very different way. When I first started to apply this mindset I noticed that my day was less energy consuming than usual. I started to pay attention to the other guy reasons, I tried to visualize things the way he did it and started to find reasons to agree. Not always the final result was an agreement, there were situation in which we simply couldn’t align. We’re different people.

But it happened that we reached those conclusions in a much lighter and decent manner than before. By finding reasons to agree first, I built a connection. Some energy field was opened. And I started to function better. And so did the other guy. By openly accepting the difference between us, we created a common vibration. And that made the energy exchange way smoother.

And. to be honest, this mindset shift opened the door to a lot of new stuff. Until a certain point, I applied it only in my relationships. I was finding reasons to agree only if I was in an interaction. But then I gradually started to apply this in other areas as well.

I started to find reasons to agree with myself. I started to find reasons to agree with specific events. I started to find reasons to agree with concepts or situations.

That’s the real catch. Finding reasons to agree with your life is so much better than finding reasons to beat yourself up.

21 thoughts on “Finding Reasons To Agree”

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  6. This is such an important point Dragos. I really work at this and I’ve noticed something remarkable over the years. Many times, when I work at finding common ground (reasons to agree) with someone who is challenging me on some level, we often end up being close friends. I think honoring someone who doesn’t see eye to eye with you initially creates a feeling of respect. And let’s face it, respect is a good foundation for friendship. Thanks for this article.
    .-= Jonathan – Advanced Life Skills´s last blog ..Using Applied Focus Sessions to Boost Productivity =-.

    • Thanks for the comment Jonathan,

      Finding reasons to agree rather than disagree is certainly a social relationship booster and I felt it many times. Even if the close contact can’t be created (meaning the differences are too big) the attitude does pay back, giving you a more balanced approach.

  7. Hey Dragos, Please forgive all the typos in my comment. Hope it still makes sense. Was up late working last night. :))
    .-= Robin Easton´s last blog ..Turn Off the Bombardment =-.

  8. For some time now I tend to be one who finds the common ground between me and other people. I find that life flows so much smoother and that most people who think we are SO different, given no opposition will usually let down to find that common ground with me. No all, but most. I’ve also found that we are more often alike than dissimilar. I really have little attachment to any of my beliefs or concepts. I’m very open minded and yet very action oriented in my own life. I guess, less talk and more action. I’ve COMPLETELY at ease with someone having a different opinion. As long as I’m doing what I REALLY need to be doing in my own life (doing that things that REALLY fill my heart and soul, the things I LOVE doing, it really doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks of me or what I love doing. I’m so wrapped up in the passion of my life that I’m just intrigued, fascinated by other people and how they view the world and live their lives.

    This is a wonderful post Dragos. I really enjoyed the way you articulated something that is appearingly intangible, and yet you nailed it. Good job. Robin 🙂
    .-= Robin Easton´s last blog ..Turn Off the Bombardment =-.

    • Hi Robin,

      I know the feeling of doing something you really love in your life and that strange consequence of feeling at ease with other, very different people, exactly BECAUSE you are doing what you like in your life. If you’re not doing something you love, you tend to be more aggressive. You’re trying to escape from your own rat race trap, but you tend to blame the others for that.

      Thanks for being here 🙂

  9. Great message here Dragos.
    I think part of the beating ourselves up stems from too much pressure for perfection that has been impressed upon us from perhaps an authoritative figure.
    Learning to accept who we are and that no one is perfect is the first step.
    .-= BunnygotBlog´s last blog ..I Kicked This Guy In The Bots =-.

    • That’s a great comment, Bunny. I just saw Magnolia (the movie) the other night, and I couldn’t skip the part in which Tom Cruise is trying to become a sex guru just to avoid confrontation with his father. I’m still touched by the movie and it fits perfectly here: if we could just try to understand each others…

  10. Excellent Dragos! I particularly liked this at the end:

    “That’s the real catch. Finding reasons to agree with your life is so much better than finding reasons to beat yourself up.”

    I’m finding many reasons to agree with my life lately, instead of spending the whole day disagreeing with it. It truly makes all the difference in the world.
    .-= Stephen – Rat Race Trap´s last blog ..Paying the Price to Get Out =-.

    • Yeap, I know the feeling. I was this kind of “target oriented person” in my early thirties and I’m still paying for that. But when you decide to agree with yourself rather than fighting all the time, you get back all the energy you lost. Gradually, it’s true, but you eventually get it back 🙂


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