Everyday I see conservations go sideways. Very often they are my own. I want to prove I’m right, that I’m sided with righteousness. If I’m, I must be wrong. Does anybody want to be wrong?
What if I could find something in what a person says that has truth to it, and then agree? Dr David Burn’s calls this idea the disarming technique. He says when you find yourself in conflict with someone, if you want to end it, you must find the truth in what a person is saying and agree. Listening to a person and agreeing with them allows them to drop their defenses.
It they don’t drop their defenses, they’ll never listen to what I have to say, no matter the facts or the truth that prove my side. If I hope to change a person’s mind, I have to first convince them I’m worth listening to. Or, I might decide that a person isn’t worth my respect and my agreement. In which case, what is the point of conversing with them?