May 10, 2011

Agreeing to disagree

I find it interesting that in any bonding the major string that holds us together is the fundamental concept of agreeing to disagree. Among friends, it is quite common to see varying levels of disagreement on any given matter. Same way among family members too no two will think alike in all matters. There will surely be differences of opinion on one thing or another. The beauty in relationship is evident when these differences can co exist.

What triggered me to write this is that these days Israel and kids have occupied the whole living room to grow their seedlings in some unsightly containers. It seems to me that is the worst thing one can do to their living room and it puzzles them why I make such a fuss for a seemingly simple issue.

After a few days of disagreements, we have now agreed to disagree. They do understand I do not approve of it and I understand they do not have a Plan B. But do we fret anymore? No, not really. I play blind to the scene but secretly counting days for the weather to improve so that these can be planted outside... They are thinking of a plan B in case the weather remains this way for long... Okay, this was easy as it is with immediate family members and if you think about it, it is really not a big deal if your living room is not up to your taste for a few days or weeks or even months.

But how about extended family members and your 'touch-me-not' kind of "friends"? How can we work it out without causing further rift? My idea is to maintain the 'hi & bye' distance. Not getting too close to these lot lest it becomes an unsightly argument and of course to drop no hints of what you really feel about certain things. Just nod 'mhmmm', 'ahang' and it keeps it going...Okay, that is doable too.

But what about immediate family but really huge issues. Like you are dead against something your spouse really wants to do or on the other hand, you really wish to do something that he/she is dead against? Hmmm... now that gets tricky.

I would say, 'Let go' in the former and 'Do it' in the latter situation. Yes, this will cause conflict but trust me it will be only temporary. Remember the idea is to agreeing to disagree! After a while when you look back you will be glad you did what you did and he/she will be glad he/she did what he/she did. You will both learn from your mistakes of course and might do it differently given another chance; but the guilt of not doing at all will be stronger than that of doing it and later realizing your spouse was right in the first place.

The bond only gets stronger with that kind of realization, and yes this is "experience" talking. Would you like to disagree?! Sure, by all means...


A said...

I wish people could follow 'agree to disagree'. Most do not.

Anonymous said...



KParthasarathi said...

Agreeing to disagree may be a helpless pragmatism of one party unable to change the other and wanting to avoid a showdown.Generally in relationships in family it is good to stand like rock on principle and move with the current on matters of taste.I think both spouses listen to each other in a spirit of give and take. There are no hard and fast rules in such matters.

Rachna said...

That is such a pertinent point. In a relationship, that is a sure sign of maturity when you can agree to disagree. It is humanly impossible to agree on everything but to not let that come in the way and move on amicably requires a lot of maturity.

Juxtaposition said...

Some people are too selfish to understand somebody else's feelings. That is where the problem arises. "Agreeing to disagree" in this context means "Giving space to each other". Even if it means making mistakes and learning from them. As you know, I was on such a crossroad a few weeks ago. but things worked out fine. :) Lets see what happens in the long run.

Bikramjit said...

good point ..

but if the weather doesnot get better you can buy the indoor pots and the seedlings can be tranferrd to that ..

Talking helps i guess , if we all talk it out i ma sure we can find a way out

NRIGirl said...

Appreciate these comments. Nice to hear from you all.

One of my friends once cried out that she didn't even get a pen for her father from USA because her husband had some misunderstanding with her parents and now the father passed away and she was inconsolable.

If she had gifted him something according to her wish, though against her husband's she would feel much better now.

In our case, Israel wished to build a nice family home for his parents and I was not for it and he went ahead and did it anyway. Now he is at peace that he did something while his mom was still around.

Are there regrets on losing his mom, or estimates, or how big it turned out or what if we don't get it ect.? Yes, definitely! But no regret will be bigger than what he would have felt if he didn't build it at all.

On the lighter side, would I be happy if I didn't move around the furniture often, no. So, even if Israel doesn't get my point I do rearrange them for a fresh new look for any given room. No, not every day... Once in a while...

....Petty Witter said...

A thought provoking post. I would not approve of seedlings being grown all over my living room either.

I don't know if you read it but I had a post on my blog in which researchers claimed that married partners actually took it in turns to 'give in' and let their partner have what they wanted. Hmm, to be honest I think its about time I let husband dearest have want he wanted as long as it isn't a drum kit.

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