Agree to disagree is a common English phrase, though some variation of the concept that it conveys exists in nearly every culture on the planet. It essentially means that no resolution to a disagreement, debate or quarrel will occur and so continuing it is unnecessary, ineffective and pointless. Therefore, it must come to end by each party tolerating but not accepting the other’s opposing opinion. Essentially, the only way to find alignment is to agree upon dropping the debate and simply consent to disagreeing (having different opinions on a subject). Many people within society believe that agreeing to disagree is a mature, conscious and amicable thing to do. But the reality is quite the opposite.
The first problem with agree to disagree is that it thwarts personal and universal expansion. The universe is trying to bring people with opposing thoughts together so as to create expansion relative to thought. This universe hopes that people would constantly expand and improve and re-invent their perspective and thoughts. If two people are committed to truth and they come together holding two opposing perspectives, it is an opportunity. It is an opportunity for expansion through arriving at a higher truth. Either one person sees the truth of the other’s perspective and changes their own perspective, often in ways that benefit him or her. Or because of their mutual commitment to finding the truth, they arrive at a truth that is higher or more accommodative than either of their perspectives were originally. A philosopher is the person within society that understands this concept best. A scientist must understand this also in order to do good work. To agree to disagree is to consciously declare a stalemate. This is to agree to stuckness and lack of resolve, both of which directly defy progress and growth and movement and expansion. It is just as stuck to say agree to disagree as it is to say you agree or act like you do, when really you don’t. For this reason, it is not only a limitation for you, it is a guarantee that the universe will turn up the heat on that particular issue. You can’t avoid it forever. It will come to a head where the situation at hand does not allow for the toleration of each other’s opposed perspectives.
The second problem with agree to disagree is that it is not actually possible in the grand scheme of things. It is impossible once there is a conflict of interests. It is definitely not possible when it comes to topics (that result in conflict) which really matter. Some differences do not cause conflict. These are the “little things”. Others do cause conflict. These are the big things. They occur when two people’s thoughts, opinions, beliefs or perspective is incompatible. On top of this, given that the universe will turn the heat up on points of stuckness, if it is possible to use agree to disagree to avoid further conflict in the short term, it becomes impossible to maintain this strategy in the long run. For example, if someone was of the opinion that the best thing to do was to plow a road through your property and yours was that it was a terrible idea, you could not say agree to disagree because you’d wake up to a road plowed through your property.
Opinions lead to choices and actions. People who say agree to disagree seem to somehow believe that opinions do not lead to choices and actions or that if they do, it will somehow not affect them. The reality is that if opinions are opposed, so are choices and actions, which impact others. This is why agree to disagree depends upon the variable of safety. For example, let’s imagine that one set of parents disagrees with vaccines and the other agrees with them. They can only say agree to disagree until the point where a law is looking to be passed mandating them. The reason is that if the parents who believe that all children must be vaccinated, believe that unvaccinated children are a health risk, they may vote to take away body sovereignty as a human right. There is no longer a way for either set of parents to avoid or maintain the amicability of this agreed upon stalemate, because they have now found themselves in a zero-sum game with their safety on the line. Another example is, in most families you can say “agree to disagree” relative to religion until the point that someone in the family dies and it’s a fight over what type of funeral service will be held. Agree to disagree is conflict avoidance plain and simple. Avoidance does not make the conflict go away. It simply delays it until a later date.
The third problem with agree to disagree is that contrary to popular belief, it is damaging to relationships. Agree to disagree is often how we try to avoid conflict or prevent the loss of closeness with someone. It is our way to remain on amicable terms while continuing to disagree about unresolved issues. To understand more about this, watch my videos titled: How to Overcome the Fear of Conflict and How to Resolve A Conflict. People can only say agree to disagree when they believe that doing so, will not affect them. This means, agree to disagree can only be something that someone agrees to if they perceive themselves to be separate and separate in a way that someone’s opinion will not lead to choices or actions that go against their best interests, affect them or harm them in any way. The motto is “as long as it doesn’t affect me and mine.” It’s a ‘you do you and I do me’ philosophy of existence, which is distancing by nature. But all of this is hidden under the guise of tolerance. It is in fact a rigid and narcissistic and separate way of being, all of which are a huge detriment to relationships.
It must also be said that people who say “agree to disagree” think they are right and the other is wrong. Therefore, saying agree to disagree really means “I’ll just passively wait for you to ‘wise up’ and stop being so stupid or unaware and eventually, you’ll see I was right. Until then, we are going to put this conflict under the floor boards.” This is in fact a form of active suppression. When people use this phrase, they are waiting for the “I told you so” moment and are convinced it will come. Agreeing to disagree is about thinking you are right and so, never fall for the lie that it makes the acceptance of differences or the acceptance of diversity of perspectives possible.
To say agree to disagree is to resist a state of alignment or resist the commitment to finding alignment. Think of what is happening energetically when one chooses to forgo the experience of alignment. This is a very ‘out of reality’ perspective to hold in a consensus reality, which is what this time space reality is. You are not the only one creating reality in a consensus reality. On top of this, it opens the door wide for zero sum games in relationships. To understand more about this, watch my video titled: The Zero Sum Game (What is A Zero Sum Game and How To End One).
On top of this, seeing as how no actual resolution has come, the unresolved conflict or opposition exists as an elephant in the room. It is an active state of dissonance, which ads considerably to the emotional tension and pressure in the relationship. It is also a ‘giving up’ on alignment. People who say agree to disagree do so because they feel powerless to find alignment or to get there to be any pliability in their perspective or the other person’s perspective or both. Agree to disagree is therefore often a forfeit in a relationship relative to finding alignment or higher truth.
The fourth problem with agree to disagree is that it allows people with a poor sense of self, to maintain a sense of self specifically through opposition. It is possible for people to have a healthy sense of self and alignment with others at the same time. But agree to disagree is an out of alignment way to try to accomplish “I can have me and I can have you too”. Some people perceive the changing of their perspectives or ideas to be a loss of self. They feel consumed or as if they lose themselves when they reach agreement or alignment.
You may hear people saying things like “I’m entitled to my opinion”. This is actually a logical fallacy. Whether someone has the right or is entitled to an opinion has absolutely nothing to do with whether their opinion is right or wrong or is reflective of truth. Therefore, it is a way of discrediting opposition and creating a diversion from the disagreement at hand. It is to subconsciously fight for freedom (the freedom or right not to be right, not to be reasonable and to stick to their perspective no matter what contradictory thoughts or evidence they are met with) when that has nothing to do with the actual validity of one’s stance.
All this being said, people use agree to disagree as a way to preserve identity and get a self-esteem kick from staying in a position of opposition to something. This is especially the case for people who have experienced enmeshment trauma. There are people who are enmeshed who will see committing to reaching agreement as a giving up their truth but this is not the case. If you arrive at a new truth, that is your truth, so you cannot say you lost your truth, you simply changed or updated it. Agree to disagree is also a way that people can maintain a false sense of enlightenment or wokeness relative to their identity. There are a great many things that people think make them good, which in fact do not. Agree to disagree, (just like meditating to escape reality or using positive focus as a tool of resistance of the negative, or being politically correct to stay safe and performatively woke) is one of these things.
Instead of saying agree to disagree, we need to commit to finding alignment. To be completely honest with you, with regards to many situations that are at hand or will be shorty, it is not a luxury for the human race to agree to disagree. By defending the idea of agree to disagree, we will be unknowingly defending the idea of bulldozing others. To understand more about this, watch my video titled: Bulldozing (The Way To Ruin Your Relationship With Yourself). And consider that it isn’t a virtue to only care about bulldozing and consider it a bad thing when we are the ones being bulldozed.
We need to be honest with ourselves if our goal is something other than alignment and truth. Ask yourself what is more important for you than alignment with others and why? What is more important for you than truth and why? Notice if you feel immediately like you must conform when this topic is raised. Address the fear of loss of self, loss of freedom and loss of personal truth inherent in this. Know that conformity is not true alignment and so, that is not what is being asked of you at all.
Seek first to understand… To see more, more more… instead of to agree. Accept that we must own up to the reality that our personal experiences have shaped our perspectives in ways that might just mean that they are limited and un-accommodative and therefore not reflective of objective truth. Try to commit to the practice of seeking objective truth. To understand more about this, watch my video titled: Objective Truth. The better you are at disidentifying from your thoughts and beliefs and perspectives, the easier it will be to question and change them. To understand more about this, watch my video titled: Disidentification (The Practice of Non-Attachment).
I am going to end this article with a question: Agree to disagree is really an assertion that certain conflicts are unresolvable. Is there such a thing as an unresolvable conflict? If so, should people accept that certain conflicts are unresolvable? What are the potential benefits and shadows inherent in doing so or not doing so.