Why You Should Surround Yourself With People Who Disagree With You

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Written by: Janet Early

At a recent business meeting, a very prominent executive said that surrounding himself with people who disagree with him has helped him achieve success.

The underlying idea is that you benefit from how it:

  • Exposes you to opinions that differ from your own
  • Fosters creativity by highlighting new perspectives
  • Strengthens problem-solving abilities by making you confront opposing ideas
  • Catalyzes the development of diverse ideas and solutions

This idea (the “Disagreement Theory”) is superior to surrounding yourself with “yes people.” These are the people who will agree with you on anything, whether to avoid confrontation, boost your ego or to some other end.

Keeping such affirmative company inhibits growth since challenges are how ideas develop and mature. This maturity can consequently spur extraordinary personal or professional growth.

How Can You Incorporate This Philosophy Into Your Own Life?

The next time someone disagrees with you, don’t write him off. Instead, be inquisitive. Ask him why he has the opinion that he does. By opening a thoughtful dialogue with the person, both of your ideas can become more thorough and thoughtful.

Seek out articles or presentations that center on beliefs that are contradictory to your own. Read a memoir by someone who leads a life you would never personally choose for yourself. Be hungry for opposing viewpoints. These will consequently help you better formulate your own stance on important issues.

Have you benefited from being around people who think much differently than you? Please share below!

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Janet Early

Janet Early

Janet Early is a health enthusiast living in Los Angeles and working as a researcher for a major television company. An aspiring writer, Janet discovered her passion for wholesome nutrition and natural healing while navigating the struggles of balancing food sensitivities in a modern world. In addition to nutrition, she enjoys traveling, storytelling and embarking on daily adventures.
Janet Early
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