Success & Prosperity Blog

How You Deal with Opposing Views

By Randy Gage in Critical Thinking, Success.

Have you ever given much thought to how you deal with the people in your life that have views different than you?

I got a letter from someone who has been promoting my training seminars and materials for years.  She has talked many times about how they have helped her reach success, made her more money, and grown her business faster.  And many more times she has testified about how they have done the same thing for thousands of others in her company.

She had recently read my book Accept Your Abundance.  She wrote to tell me that she could no longer ever endorse anything I have done.

What caused the abrupt turnaround?

After reading the book, she decided I was anti-Christian.  So she feels she would be sending a double message, because she also leads two prayer calls a week.  I sent her a reply expressing my respect and best wishes for her, and letting her know that I certainly don’t want her recommending my stuff if she can’t do so without reservation.  And of course also pointed out that I am a Christian myself.

Obviously we have quite different interpretations of what that means.  But it is interesting to me how she reacted initially.

Let’s suppose I really was anti-Christian.  Would that negate the value and truth in what I had taught her and her people for all those years?   Would the fact that I had an opposing view on creation mean that I was “wrong” about everything else?

How do you react when others around you have an opposing view on things?  How do you deal with them, and how does it affect your responses in other areas?  Think about that, and please share your thoughts below.

-RG

 

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59 thoughts on “How You Deal with Opposing Views

  1. Keith says:

    We don’t agree on everything, just as I don’t agree with anyone on everything. If I did one of us is not necessary. I use the shopping cart method. I don’t buy everything in the store. Just what I intend on using.
    As far as our disagreements…my approach is a man convinced against his will is of the same opinion still. On some issue we will just agree to disagree and I’m ok with that.

  2. Edward Devero says:

    If someone has an opposing view to mine, I just let it be and don’t give it much thought or energy thereafter. It’s not my purpose to convince someone that I am right. I have my own thoughts and opinions about things and am always open to other views regarding them. Nothing is absolute. I can actually learn from someone else’s perspective.

  3. Brian Walter says:

    Randy:

    If she truly believed you were strongly ANTI a core belief of hers, not just different from it but AGAINST it, then yes…I think it’s a valid reason for her to break fellowship with you. That doesn’t negate everything else you’ve done or invalidate the many things you espouse that have nothing at all to do with the ANTI part. It also doesn’t mean that she can’t still receive value from much of the work you have provided. But in terms of personally saying that she endorses you and actively recommending you to others who are like minded in her core spiritual view…it would be a reasonable response to change her referral patterns.

  4. Jonathan says:

    Randy,

    It’s interesting you bring this up today. I’ve been working on developing a film project and yesterday spoke with someone who’s been doing PR in the film biz for a while, and he did a great job bashing the vision I held. Rather than take him to task on his opinion, I just let him speak. Then I spoke with a guy with far more experience in film who had actually introduced me to him and he simply said that no matter who you share your idea with, someone will feel it has no merit.

    Am sure many people told Steve Jobs, Richard Branson, Spielberg, Gates, Lucas and others they were crazy too.

    So I guess when we experience this in Life we simply have to say, ” I agree to disagree with you”.. And I also feel responding to a comment is far better than re-acting. It’ better to be the creator than the reactor (same letters), wouldn’t you agree?

  5. I once met one of those creationists who beleive the earth is only 6 thousand years old.. and oh, he had proof! went and got a dvd that had some guy screaming about finding a plate or cup that was inricately carved and stamped… when you realize that nothing is going to change this person’s mind, no matter what you say, why bother?? like your creationist detractor.. Richard Dawkins once said trying to debate a religious person, is like trying to talk to someone who puts their hands over their ears and goes, “la la la…

  6. I personally really struggle with this , issue. I try to respect other’s opinions, especially political. However, I am not as tolerant of people that use their religion to judge. I was really dismayed to read your blog and that someone would reject you because they judged your Christian-ness!

  7. Kat says:

    I consider their point of view, trust my instincts and go on my merry way.

    You’re awesome Randy

    1. Karen Lorentzen says:

      Dear Kat
      I fully agree with you – because what other people think is interesting – and often educating – we don’thave to agree – live and let live! If I am puzzled by the way people think I try to get more information – but never to judge.I like to be treated the same way. Kal

  8. I try to listen as best as I can.

    I will say “I agree with you, but” or something similar.

    Some people just will not listen if you have opposing views.

    It is best to wish them well, and walk away.

  9. Steve says:

    In a ‘nut shell’ I like to deal with opposing views as far as possible by NOT revealing too much of mine initially. Instead I like to ask probing questions about their stance.

    Especially when it comes to opposing veiws on religion. I must admit I do like to have fun with this as I was once a bible thumping zealot and completely understand their one eyed fanaticism.(I still consider myself a follower of Christian principles though)

    Rather than try and push my particular point of view I like to ask a series of (friendly)questions I have designed which really tests the critical thinking of the opposing view.

    From that I can usually tell if they have given considered thought to their position… and sometimes they will even admit they don’t have a viable answer.

    And of course sometimes their replies give me pause to stop and think…well at least for a couple of seconds anyway :o)

    …But we almost always leave on friendly terms!

  10. Jim Story says:

    RG,
    My family and many friends are Neo Republicans who despise Barack Obama. I have learned not to get into discussions because they don’t lead anywhere. Other people have more intelligent points of view and I feel there is more of a discussion.
    Most people who have hijacked the term Christian, (which by the way) means they have the right way to be a Christian and we don’t ..will typically leave you in the dust if they don’t agree with you.
    I was a born again Christian for a while. They tell you they love the sinner but hate the sin. They do pay more attention to you when you tell them you are gay. My submersed baptismal was 8 minutes rather than the normal 20 seconds.
    Have you ever noticed how the Christians don’t want govn’t interference unless it something to do with GAG. Guns, Abortion or Gays. Then it is ok for the government to dictate.
    I have learned to ignore those people as it is a free country and they are allowed to have their opinion.
    Jim

    1. Yeah, never understood that.

      While I welcome the right of each church to decide which relationships the church considers valid, we are failing to separate legal rights from beliefs.

      There are some Republicans who are supportive though.

      A lot of GLBT people vote Democrat because of the rights issues.

      Regardless of party, there are many people who are still homophobic.

      Gay people are everywhere.

  11. Annie says:

    I agree most with Brian Walter and Edward Devero’s comments.

    Randy, I know this is shocking, but I don’t agree with you on politics,and some other of your philosophies, but I still get a lot from your writings. However, I don’t know that I would endorse your work either. I mean it would depend.

    I have told people I liked your book and why I also didn’t agree with elements of it. This is a really tough question, I think it depends on the situation. It sounds like this lady was doing the right thing for her.

    See, I wonder why you are writing this post? Are you offended? You didn’t actually say you understood her position. It seems to me that you think she is wrong.

    Now, I know from my experience with you, that it is best to let go of wanting to be right. Empathize, and know that sometimes there isn’t really a right or wrong. In this case, not so much about Christianity, but more about the choices she made regarding your philosopies.

    She did what she felt was right for her. If she rethinks her choice, she may recommend your teachings again. If you want her to. Maybe you won’t later. Who knows?

    Will she read this post? And if she does what does that mean? Are you sure she didn’t mean she thought you were the Anti-Christ like Sam Neill? That would require a different interpretation. (just a little joke Randy:)

    BTW, I liked all your Opera photos they were fun to look at.

    1. Randy Gage says:

      It isn’t about what she thinks of me or how I feel about that. I merely use that example to open the discussion of how we deal with opposing views.

      -RG

      1. Annie says:

        Okay Randy, I see your point. Sorry if I made you uncomfortable. I feel really bad about it. 🙁

  12. dan worth says:

    Can I get $19.95, scratch that, I mean $199.95 for a real good answer, sounds like you’re a bit stuck with this one…Good luck.

  13. Giedrius says:

    If it is a question about objective reality (not about subjective preferences) and 2 people can’t agree on it, it’s highly likely, that at least one of them has an emotional attachment to his position and simply can’t accept the evidence. This phenomenon is explored here http://fdrurl.com/bib

  14. Marketa says:

    Randy,

    good lesson. I was dealing with lot of opposite thinking people… And sometimes still I do. I think you do also. These lessons gave us better understanding about us and trully opening to others. Everytime I ask myself, what I am learning from? Even when I feel like a King Kong and I feel 100% sure.

    From my point of view is to see the person as myself… She or he is developing her/hisself. And her/his way may be different to receive lessons. But she/he will receive somehow :o)

    When I let our opinions show, shortly by being a human and let my heart love others, that they are. They are amazing, showing us their doubts and their opposite believes.

    It is a lesson how to be a human. :o)
    I love dealing with them… They make us better a better :o)

  15. “Everyone has a unique fingerprint that no one else has, so they can leave an imprint no one else can.” (Keith Craft) We can choose to allow ourselves to be open to that imprint, or we can choose to turn from it. Don’t lose the message because you don’t like the messenger.
    There will always be times when you don’t agree with someone or some idea, or some something. An opposing view on one thing doesn’t mean you’ll be butting heads on all thoughts and ideas. When you are open to what other people bring to you, you can then take the gems and discard the rocks. Don’t miss out on the diamond cause you don’t want to get your fingers dirty with their “opposing views”.

  16. Carmen says:

    It’s extremely rare for people to have their shit together in every area of their life. This means that some things aren’t working for them and that their thoughts in that area are not supporting the outcomes that they would like to see. I take that to mean that they may be able to provide huge value in certain areas of my life, but not others. Just as I love my parents despite all their annoying faults and negativity, they still provide immense value to my life.

  17. Carole says:

    Telling someone that he is anti-something is labelling. Labelling or (juging)is not what christians are supposed to do, but we still do it. Opposition is what makes us grow. If everything was all white, how would we know what black is? How would we know the difference between the two? How could we make choices? I like white, others like black. It’s a choice. Choose to like others that like black, or not. The world will continue to turn, no matter what. If someone can’t accept my choice, then he needs to grow. Anyway, people that don’t have the same opinion as me, are not around me. And it’s ok. That’s what makes life interesting! 🙂

  18. Carlos says:

    As far as religion goes I don’t even agree with myself. It is very confusing. And the truth is that in the case of religion I am not the only one confused. There are many Christians that believe that dinasours lived millions years ago. They are not aware that both beliefs completely contradict themseves. Personal beliefs are personal for the person that has them. The rest of us should pay little attention to them. Being Christian or Jewish or Atheist should not affect relationships because relationships are based on provable aspects of life, while religious beliefs cannot be proven.

  19. Berry says:

    It has been a journey for me with this subject.
    I used to think my happiness depends on my (life or conversation) partner’s understanding of what I was expressing. Then I thought I just want them to understand me… what does ‘understand’ mean anyway!? – I wanted them to agree!
    And I had many many many unpleasant and sad moments because I thought I was misunderstood.
    Now it has turned around. I know what I know and some’s approval of it is irrelevant. It is nice to have someone to chat, who in large has same ideas about life as me. It really is a great feeling, however I have untied the connection between been agreed and feeling good.
    I can feel good anyway!!
    Now I take opinions as buffet – the bigger choice the better!!! I don’t have to indulge in someting that doesn’t taste that good for me!

  20. Denise says:

    One of the biggest hurdles to prosperity and personal happiness is the letting go of the “addiction to the opinion of others”. You spoke of it recently yourself and it’s so very true. I no longer feel I have to make everyone happy. If that were the case we would all be the same. Some people are not ready to think beyond where they are at and that’s ok, it’s where they are today. I don’t have to right in their eyes to still be assured and happy in mine.

  21. Olga says:

    In my own experience what I found that worked for me was learning to detach, that may sound simplistic but I realized that the ego gets in the way, there is never going to be two individuals who think completely alike and so the key for me was not to react and allow the other person to have their personal belief on the situation.

    Detaching from an outcome frees me from the drama and emotions that get tied up in every day interpersonal relationships. In this case, it’s her choice whether to stay in that belief or not, it’s her loss.

  22. suzanne says:

    If we have opposing ideas, values, beliefs or principals, it would be very difficult to fellowship continuously but yes we can minister to the person or vv. hear them out and decide. For example our childhood friends/contacts may not be with us now so I guess we are given certain friendships, business or otherwise for a season and move on…….. to form new enriching associations…..

  23. Marketa says:

    My intuition told me whether I come back here and write you this.

    I am sure, that you know what lesson is about for you…

  24. ken says:

    Thanks Randy. I realy have problems with this one. The people around me are ”down to earth” people. So if i talk about prosperity and share your views and thoughts, they simpley say i’m crazy. So what about that ??

  25. David says:

    Yeah Randy, when I discuss prosperity with a fellow Christian they rarely react positively …. they usually give me that “your a greedy heathan(SP?)” look…. I just want thump them on the head (with one of your books!) I feel most Christians are loaded down with so much guilt that they fail to see that God WANTS them to be successful and happy in life. God Bless!

  26. Randy,

    I usually have to say “Thanks for your viewpoint.” Then I move on, this usually works. Though I have to limit my contact with them because many times they don’t see it that way…

  27. rita says:

    Here´s my version about this toopic, Randy:
    – there are facts.
    – there are emotions.
    Your fan acted on your useful facts and took them over, for many years. She even turned successful. Result: great outcome!

    When she wrote the letter now, she talked about emotions. Having a private opinion about a person (and belonging to a certain religion is one private topic which describes inner values of a person) has nothing to do with the fatcs you offer for life and survival.
    It is something to separate in our mind, which is my opinion.
    But many people mix. They mix apples with peaches and offer stew (to describe it in pictures) and this is mostly why they change opinions suddenly.
    Religious beliefs release emotions. Same with sports or politics in a conversations. epople have a certain opinion or belief or they are a fan of the club “x” because of….
    and all that describes their comfort zone or landscape.
    IIt´s always the same story, just wrapped differently. Your book she now read included 1 sentence which disturbed her comfort zone and cracked the emotional picture she had of you for many years and now: she kicked you out.
    You said, she was a fan? Hm, not a true fan, I guess.
    But I have to admit that you write/wrote very straight, direct and open and those people who can not deal with it, simply shy away from 1 second to the other.

    I don´t want to give suggestions of what else you could have written back to her since the letter is written & sent off, but all in all, you will always have trouble repairing emotional effects.
    That´s life!
    But I am sure you daily win 3 x times more new fans than you lose –
    🙂

    1. Annie says:

      Rita, I agree with you that emotions are often tied to our religious or faith perspectives. However, it may also be that instead of having an emotional reaction, she was using her rational mind to allow her to hold on to her integrity.

      If you disagree with someone on a values issue it is okay to not support their work. Especially if it causes a sense of cognative dissonance. For example, if you were really strongly anti-capital punishment, most likely you wouldn’t support the political candidate who was for it, even if some of his/her other ideas were valid.

      1. rita says:

        Annie, true –
        politics offer another topic/field where people separate immediately from one another if their values drift apart.
        As for me, I am strong enough to keep topics separat from people and emotions. It was hard to get there but life is more relaxing with this great habit and I view people more friendly than with the enemy-picture some people suddenly draw around a person.
        But mostly, “hurt” emotions are the source of separation like in a relationship.
        – thanks for your comment!

  28. Pablo says:

    Hi Randy, I’m Buddhist my self, even that, I’m not anti Christian, I don’t really care what are your spiritual believes, and I’m not expecting you to be talking about Buddhist sutras, for that I go to our Culture Center here in Weston Florida, I don’t visit your blog to know about soccer, my favorite sport, for that I go to the stadium or turn on my TV, I don’t listen to you because your political preferences, I know how to get that advice, you know what, I follow you because you are a smart person, because you inspire me to go forward, to never give up an so…since the first day I saw you in a DVD in Sydney, where you started your presentation saying, What you’ll do when your dreams die…. Did you remember it… I will never forget it… was a turning point in my life, in all aspects, because with MY BELIEVES, that are not necessary yours, I decode that message form me, how I am, with my believes, anyway I never heard from you nothing related with religion…. and that’s one of the reasons I follow you and I will continue following you. I think that a professional speaker never should talk in public about 3 things, Religion, Politics and soccer…baseball or whatever….

    The great thing about diversity is exactly that…DIVERSITY… and learning how to find thing that creates UNITE, not finding things that separate people from each other.

    As allays, RESPECT come to the front line, tolerance, friendship, peace…. and as we know everything starts from us, as Ghandi said: “Be the Change you wish to see in the world”….

    Thank you for your everyday’s encouragement…

    1. Randy Gage says:

      Great insights to the discussion. Thanks

      -RG

  29. Joe G says:

    I do my best to live The Four Agreements (Don Miguel Ruiz) by knowing that we are all making up our own story so I do my best to listen with interest and love while not taking anything personally.

  30. Daryl says:

    No one will agree with everything another say’s. When someone opposes me I first hear them and humble myself to see if I can learn from their opposition. If there is something to learn I grow, submit or use as added info. If they turn away I bless them and keep smiling.

  31. Jon says:

    If everyone agreed with everyone on every conceivable topic/issue what a strange world it would be. Healthy debate is essential for progress and without it we might still be living in the dark ages.

  32. Lene Jytte Hansen says:

    I think truth sometimes hits some “buttons” in the subconcious mind, that make you react not logical. It’s issues with that person, and not much you can do about that until she gets those issues handled. As you said, your work has helped her a lot previous, so there is no logical explanation for her resent reaction. I read “Accept your Abundance” too. And I know I bumped into a lot of my own limiting believes too, that was tough confronting. Fortunately I saw it for just that, and did not make it your fault. I do not think that Christian or anti-Christian is the “real issue” here. It rarely is what you say it is, when you get such illogical reaction. I do not think she even knows what the real issue is, so that how she deals with it calling it that.
    I love your work Randy – It’s tough sometimes – selfdevelopment often is before it gets better.
    Lots of love to you from Denmark :)))

  33. Judy says:

    Randy I think your question is awesome. I am new to you and excited to read your stuff as I am a Catherine Ponder fan and love the idea of prosperity consciousness. One of the reasons I love Social Media is I am daily exposed to views that are quite different than mine. I enjoy the diversity of ideas that I am exposed to daily. Would these people associate with me in real life probably not.. Birds of a feather flock together. And people often forget when we stop learning from our intellectual enemy for lack of a better word than We stagnate. I think she made a mistake but with good intentions. She was trying to protect her integrity for her Prayer Calls but negated all the lessons that got her to the point of having the calls.. Withdrawing her support of you seems that she is forgetting where she came from. She would not be who She is without you. A better way of her holding on to her integrity would have been to openly disagree with the New book but continue to endorse the teachings who made her who she is and you as the teacher who brought her this far. It is the person who forgets where they come from that eventually gets lost.. She loses integrity by withdrawing total support just because she has grown in a different direction. Her loss. Know that your teachings are still just as valid as when She was endorsing you.

    1. Lene Jytte Hansen says:

      Good to see you here Judy :)))

  34. Paul Cannon says:

    When someone has an opposing view…let them. If they have this view because of lack of critical thinking you are arguing with a “fool” and that only makes you a fool. If they have this view due to critical thinking they will not “budge” and you shouldnt expect them to and you know you wont so it is a pointless exercise.
    The only exception would be someone coming to you and asking you to explain your views so they could consider your opinion and give it some thought…which doesnt sound like the case here.
    It is a shame that someone will end a relationship for the “one” thing they disagree with rather than continuing with it because of ALL the things which they hold in common with you…
    Its a good thing we cant all agree all the time(even one Christian with another Christian when discussing religion!!!) …. otherwise the world would consist of only ME and then there would be little expression / creativity / growth 😉

  35. I have problems dealing with religious groups who feel that they have the “truth”. Them and Them only. they redefine Christian to mean what they want it to mean. It only means a person who believes that Jesus was the Christ. Nothing more.

  36. Dear Randy,
    I am a devoted fan of yours who believes in what you teach about prosperity and I share all your teachings to my entire network on a daily basis.
    If I felt a difference of opinion in some of your views, I would first think critically about it and then let it go.
    It does bot affect me in any way.
    I do the same to all my other relationships and disagreements with other people

    I am writing from a small country Uganda in East Africa, I would love to see you in this part of the World at one time???? We love you Randy

  37. Lisa112 says:

    I think being negative is probably why she used your system, which is obviously positive. I think anything that is you this and you that, is not constructive, I had a similar thing happen today, where a negative response is not the same as a different point of view, it is close minded. A different point of view can be helpful, but to be close-minded is usually why people use other people’s systems cause it is open for growth.

  38. Lisa112 says:

    I think being negative is probably why she used your system, which is obviously positive. I think anything that is you this and you that, is not constructive, I had a similar thing happen today, where a negative response is not the same as a different point of view, it is close minded. A different point of view can be helpful, but to be close-minded is usually why people use other people’s systems cause it is open for growth.

  39. Lisa112 says:

    How do closed minded people get ideas? How do they adjust for something that gives them a disadvantage? We all have something that gives us a disadvantage, but you have to build on your advantages. I hate to say it, but some women, not all women tend to act like being positive is not part of the job, as if you have to give someone permission before they will use the affirmative. Guys talk in the affirmative to each other, but women, some of them, can  just devastate each other. I think it is the culture not really the gender but I think it is very destructive.

  40. Lisa112 says:

    How do closed minded people get ideas? How do they adjust for something that gives them a disadvantage? We all have something that gives us a disadvantage, but you have to build on your advantages. I hate to say it, but some women, not all women tend to act like being positive is not part of the job, as if you have to give someone permission before they will use the affirmative. Guys talk in the affirmative to each other, but women, some of them, can  just devastate each other. I think it is the culture not really the gender but I think it is very destructive.

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