Eliminate Quarreling

Writes T. K. Coleman:

It is nearly impossible to get into a heated argument with your loved ones if, as a general rule of thumb, you commit to ALWAYS speaking to the other party as if they have the same amount of intelligence and integrity as you.

Most quarrels have less to do with the actual differences in our opinions, and more to do with our tendency to interpret those differences as evidence that others are not as ethical, reasonable, or loving as we are.

Self-righteousness, not disagreement, is the greater enemy of conflict resolution.

The solution lies in a simple insight Ram Dass taught his students: “we can be right without being righteous about it.”

We can perceive what we perceive without placing ourselves on a pedestal for having the particular vantage point we have.

We can discuss our issues without questioning, mocking, or attacking the sensibility, sensitivity, and sincerity of the ones with whom we are in conflict.

Cooperation and compromise can be surprisingly easy to obtain when we drop the habit of engaging those who see things differently as if we’re smarter, superior, or saintlier.

At least that’s the way I see it.

Great advice. Must needs I take it to heart and apply it more consistently.


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Founder and editor of Everything-Voluntary.com and UnschoolingDads.com, Skyler is a husband and unschooling father of three beautiful children. His writings include the column series “One Voluntaryist’s Perspective” and “One Improved Unit,” and blog series “Two Cents“. Skyler also wrote the books No Hitting! and Toward a Free Society, and edited the books Everything Voluntary and Unschooling Dads. You can hear Skyler chatting away on his podcasts, Everything Voluntary and Thinking & Doing.