In every relationship, whether a simple friendship or a romantic one, my goal is connection.
I make no room for violations of that connection. If a conflict has arisen, it will be resolved quickly, so connection can be maintained.
Even for mere strangers, I’m seeking to connect on some level. Perhaps not deeply intimate right away. But I believe connection with others is one of the highest meanings of life (the other being connection with God).
This, then, affects how I go about things. For instance, if I am debating with someone on a political, religious, or moral topic (say… abortion), I will be intentional about maintaining connection. (In the long run, trust is the ultimate factor in persuasion). Winning the argument is not worth severing connection. In the end of all things, as long as your belief does not cause me or others harm, we can agree to disagree for the sake of maintaining connection.
While I still hold that truth is absolute and exclusive, the ultimate of goal of communication is understanding, not agreement. Thinking of communication in this manner allows us to facilitate connection in the midst of disagreement.