By Michael,

Many people enjoy debating and discussing personal and political issues. However, in some cases, a debate is less than friendly and can become a source of conflict and stress. Sometimes it seems like “giving in” to agree to disagree and walk away from an argument. However, it can be vital to do that in order to preserve your relationships and protect both your mental and physical health.

Unnecessary fighting and arguing can raise your blood pressure; over time, poor anger management and conflict resolution skills can cause you heart attacks and strokes. In addition, high stress levels can make you more prone to disease in general and can increase your risk of certain types of cancers. For all these reasons, you should learn some simple techniques to help you determine when it’s best to agree to disagree.

Check Your Priorities
If you start getting upset or frustrated during a discussion, take a step back and ask yourself how important the issue is to you. If the discussion is academic or is on a topic that doesn’t really impact your life, then it shouldn’t matter whether your friends or family agree with you or not.

If the topic is one that is important to you for personal reasons, such as the best way to raise children or a discussion about political issues that directly impact your life, ask yourself two additional questions:

1. How likely am I to change the other person’s mind?
2. How important is my relationship with this person?


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