How to Respectfully Disagree

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By Emma Benson, The Daily Universe

“No offense, but … ”

“I don’t want to be rude, but … ”

“Don’t take this personally … ”

Is it obvious what might come next?

Despite good intentions, these commonly-used phrases may lead to offense. Whether it’s a conversation with a family member or a friend, a classmate or a co-worker, everyone has varying opinions and beliefs.

Is there a good way to disagree with someone while still being respectful of their thoughts and opinions?

BYU persuasive writing professor Erin Blackmun teaches her students that sharing their opinions with each other is an opportunity to be enlightened. Blackmun, along with former vice president of the BYU Speech and Debate Club Benjamin Braden and Braver Angels coordinator Erika Munson, shared ideas on how to respectfully disagree during a conversation or an argument, whether with a friend or foe.

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