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Lighten Up: Disagreement And Overcoming It.

A disagreement is defined as a lack of consistency or correspondence. Although disagreements can occur in any setting (business, personal or otherwise), it tends to end awfully for two demographics the most. Those two are African Americans and women. Say what you want, shake your head all you want, but if you were to get into a disagreement with a black guy or a woman, you pretty much have no weapon. Unless, you’re also black in which case, you probably do have a weapon and that should never have to be the outcome. Yet, that’s a whole different topic for a totally different day. (I mean seriously. Do not get me started on how I think the only way to educate the young African American community is to lead by example.) I recently had a disagreement that I learned from. It was a surprise because it could’ve had a bad income. Spoiler Alert: This disagreement was between myself (An African American woman) and another African American Woman. But don’t worry. This Lighten Up Thursday has a lesson that isn’t ending in girls taking off their earrings!

The Story

I recently had some deep reflection about a disagreement I had gotten into with a fellow photographer. I had seen some similarities in our postings and started getting antsy because there’s no more accurate word to describe how I felt.

Frankly, the smart thing to do when you encounter a situation like that is to immediately assess the “damage” done and decide whether it’s detrimental enough to confront said person. I didn’t. I waited and I let it eat at me until I came to a collective circle of others and began expressing my concern.

One of them went back to her and told her, and she confronted me and you know what I realized? I was terrified. I wasn’t ready to be approached. What was wrong with me? I immediately made the decision to surrender no matter what the outcome was.

It seems I’d rather lose a friend than a fight. – Slippin’ {Quadron}

I think initially I was afraid to be wrong. Like, if I had went “AHA THESE ARE MY POINTS!” and they sounded really bitchy, things would go south so I backed up, content on not even answering the message because I was that afraid.

But why? She isn’t a bad person and from our encounters she seemed really understanding. So. After a few deep breaths and a lot of fearful shaking, I talked to her. Peer to peer. These are my concerns. She replied back, I’m just trying to understand your perspective. So I explained it because that’s what a disagreement is: When two people’s perspectives don’t agree.

The next time I saw her, there was no hostility at all. (Can’t we all be that lucky all the time?) I inwardly smiled to myself because I was proud of both of us. We are two women and women are vicious creatures who will tear each other’s eyes out if they have to just to make a point. We handled it civilly and it didn’t tear the fabric of our acquaintanceship.

The Lesson

Fear can’t own you. 

Sometimes, you have to approach a potential confrontation and be prepared to admit and apologize when you’re wrong. It’ll make you and the person on the opposite end a stronger person. I’ve learned firsthand that when you hold back from clearing the air, you can lose people you care about. It’s worse when it’s women. I’ve lost people and had them become very vindictive to me in later life… (Well, in all honesty… It was just one person and I’ve since accepted the loss)

I’d much rather talk things out with someone than settle for my own immaturity standing in the way.

Don’t let the fear of disagreeing stop you from speaking your mind. If you stand for nothing, you’ll fall for anything. Just remember to tread lightly. We’re not all cut from the same cloth and that’s what makes us different in the best of ways.

To her.

I won’t say her name, but thanks for not punching me in the face. When you work among similar fields, it’s rational to sometimes become afraid of things. My anxiety doesn’t excuse my irrationality but it provides some kind of an explanation. Thank you for understanding and for not casting stones. I’ve learned so much from that experience and I can’t help but thank you for teaching me. Keep doing you with a smile on your face because you do it well.

Lighten Up, and until next Thursday be open, be honest, and be aware of other’s emotions.

Namaste.

Jasemine-Denise


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