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How to disagree politely?

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Refuting someone’s opinion or belief is a tricky thing to do. If not done well, it can border on being rude or impolite. Yes, even when disagreeing with someone, you need to be careful of doing it well and politely. This is one of the key skills of spoken English. Speaking in English is not just about English fluency and mastering the vocabulary, it is about picking the mannerisms and understanding the finer nuances too.

disagree

When disagreeing with a person, whether it is done verbally or in writing, make sure that you maintain a polite tone and choose your words carefully. Often, your audience or your reader can clearly make a difference between disagreeing, just for the sake of it, and a clearly reasoned argument. The key to disagreeing politely is to make sure that your opinion is well researched and reasoned, and that you present it in a manner that it is paid attention to and considered. Making a point just for disagreeing will do you no good.

There are several vital points one needs to understand and keep in mind when disagreeing.Let’s go over a few of them.

Key to disagreeing politely


Reasoning: Whatever your point of view, right or wrong, you need to have a strong reason behind it. When you say, “I believe that such and such is the case”, you should be ready to explain why you believe so. For example, when discussing football, it is natural that everybody has favourite teams and players. In such a case, when you are discussing who the best player of the lot is, you will reason your opinion based on the player's track record – performance, number of goals, matches played, etc. Similarly, you need to have a good reason as a back up to your opinion, no matter what the discussion is.

Explain your point
· Explain your point of view: Simply saying that you disagree with an opinion or fact explains nothing. You need to provide a valid explanation of why your opinion differs. When explaining your point of view, make sure to enunciate how it differs from the opinion presented earlier and why you believe that your opinion or point of view is better/ stronger. Also, do not expect your audience to simply accept what you say or present to them. Remember, your point of view is in disagreement. Similarly, allow others the room to disagree as well.

agree or disagree

· Agree to disagree: Many times, an argument can end with both the parties disagreeing with their counterparts; and that is fairly okay. Agree to disagree means that both or all the parties will present their views, with no compulsion of arriving at a single opinion. It gives the freedom to maintain your opinion while letting you understand others’ opinions as well. It is what one calls a win-win situation.

If you are still wondering how you can learn English and its various nuances, it is time you joined an online English tutor!

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- By Shailja Varma

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