From Gandhiji and Jesus to the last man on the street, that is to say, everyone faces opposition in his/her life. Opposition is part and parcel of our human lives. The opposition can be personal,emotional, intellectual, economical or spiritual. It can also be against authority and power,against position and religion or against personally held opinions and beliefs.
Whatever be the nature of opposition, every one experiences it. But the method of facing and solving the opposition may be different from person to person.Everyone handles opposition in his/her own way. Some persons are so much defeated by
opposition that they submit to their opponents without any resistance like a lamb led to slaughter.Some people resist opposition blindly. Others, in the face of opposition, just ignore it like the ostrich which buries its head in the sand. Some others believe that they are the victims of persecution and live with it.
As we see, all people face opposition in one way or another. We can recognize people from the way they handle opposition. We can recognize the personality, the character and the culture of a person from the way he/she handles opposition. When we analyze the way a person handles opposition we can know his/her difficulties, problems and ignorance. Many people do not know
how to handle opposition properly and consequently experience needless problems, pain and difficulties.
I have learnt a number of lessons from oppositions and the consequent problems and difficulties caused by them. From my personal experiences and from the lessons which I have learnt, I have reached a number of conclusions. On the basis of
those conclusions I elaborate here seven steps to handle opposition properly and adequately. First, accept the reality of opposition. Opposition cannot be wished away just by neglecting orignoring it. The first step to handle opposition is to acknowledge that there is opposition. Even if you do not like the opposition, you can solve it by facing it squarely and accepting the reality of the opposition.
Some people feel small in accepting the fact that there is opposition. But the responsibility for the fact of opposition does not belong solely to one party facing the opposition but both the concerned parties. Some people know it and so t
hose, who oppose, often want their self identity hidden and kept secret. Jesus never ran away from opposition but firmly faced his opponents and detractors as we will see later.
Two, understanding the core of opposition. If we want to face an opposition, we need to know well the source and everything related to the opposition. If we understand well everything about the opposition, then we can take appropriate steps to overcome the same. Often the people who oppose, speak all sorts of things but do not reveal the real reason for their opposition. Recently two writers opposed an editor. They spoke against the editorial policy of the editor.
They spoke about the caste of the editor. They spoke against the attitude and behaviour of the editor. All those matters were clarified and cleared and still the opposition continued. Why? The real cause of their opposition was that the editor di
d not publish their articles because he did not find their articles up to the mark. If this core fact was revealed, then steps could have been taken to rewrite and improve the articles; and the unpleasant and needless opposition could have been
avoided. Hence, it is important we examine all as pects of opposition and discover the core issue.
Third, recognize your opponent. People oppose you for a variety of reasons. But it is very important to know who is opposing you and the basic cause for the opposition. If the circumstances permit you, it is good to meet the opponent personally and
dialogue with the person to know him/her deeply and delve into the basic cause of the opposition. But the circumstances do not often favour such a meeting and dialogue. In such a situation you can try to meet the persons who are in close contact with the opponent and find out about the opponent and his/her reasons for the opposition.
When you know the opponent well from one source or another you will be in a situation to handle the opposition and you can decide what steps to take to solve the problem. All the people who oppose you are not your enemies. We are also formed in the way we handle opponents. Facing opposition can make us strong and alert and if needed, correct our ways.Fourth, do not take opposition personally. Some people become upset because there are oppositions to them out there. So even if there is no substance in the opposition, they lose their sleep; they worry a lot even to the point of spoiling their health and inner peace. Often the opponents want only to harass you and make you worry.
There is absolutely no need to take opposition personally. For instance, a mother-in-law due to force of habit, keeps complaining even in small matters against the daughter-in-law. But without ignoring the mother-in-law, if the daughter-in-law takes the complaining as part of life without giving tit for tat, the mother-in-law in the long run will appreciate the understanding daughter-in-law and will begin to appreciate her.
Five, evaluating the opposition. It is necessary to evaluate opposition before taking any concrete step. We should not be blind to the opposition of the opponent. There may be both good and bad aspects to opposition. So after examining and evaluating every aspect we discard the bad aspects and accept the good aspects. Many times a person opposes you to call attention to himself/herselfor to make the point that he/she is not getting the respect or appreciation, which according to him is his due. Sometimes, the opposition may be due to ignorance and prejudice. Take such opposition as a challenge to tell the truth and remove the ignorance and prejudice.
In evaluating the opposition those who know the opponents well, and your friends who sincerely wish your good, can be helpful. Discussing and exchanging views of those people can help you to discover the truth behind the opposition and also the good and the bad aspects of the opposition. Sixth, decide on concrete steps to respond adequately to the opposition. After recognizing the identity and the purpose of the opponent as well as the various aspects of the opposition, it is