Some Ways to Handle Disagreements by Emberlea

Jesse Voluntarist Mathewson; A recent article titled, When we disagree how do we handle it, did quite well. Another amazing agorist businesswoman and wonderful individual Emberlea McCulligh has decided to post an addition and response to this article. I am hoping that she will become a regular contributor and highly recommend her work. I will be posting a bio and her webpage as well for your perusal shortly. Please feel free to leave comments here as well.

Disagreements come and go in each and every relationship that humans have. As intelligent beings, we have ways to resolve differences. Yes, many, and I am in that group, have revoked friendships with people whom I have had deep philosophical differences with. I have used this as a last resort after trying again and again to convince these others that my point of view was correct. I realize this is not the appropriate way to handle disagreements, even deep philosophical differences. Disagreements are exacerbated since friendships today are not the same as they were 10 years ago.

What are the dispute resolutions that are available in a voluntary society? In many areas one can access a third party arbitrator who will manage the dispute. There is a cost associated with this process, depending on where one lives. One important resolution that is often overlooked is simply effective communication. It has been my experience that many disputes, especially via social media, occur because emotions do not translate at all and the freedom others have to be as mean as possible with little or no repercussions. Learning effective communication skills facilitates better communication with all, but how does one communicate effectively online? One thing that could go a long way is to stop calling people names. Also, stop and think before you say or type something. Here is a good resource:

One of the best ways to handle disagreements is to learn and utilize nonviolent communication. Nonviolent Communication (NVC) was developed by Marshall Rosenberg in the 1960’s to facilitate more amicable communication. NVC is based on the idea that all humans are capable of compassion and only use violent tactics when no other strategies are recognized to meet each person’s needs. NVC focuses on three aspects of communication: self-empathy, empathy and honest self-expression. Here is a good resource for NVC:

For an excellent outlook on empathy please google Carl Rogers. Dr. Rogers is a respected psychotherapist with an emphasis on using empathy to facilitate better communication.

Developing empathy and using NVC to communicate with others opens up communication to a degree you won’t believe. These techniques have helped me to communicate and LISTEN to others more effectively. I feel as if I am now understood and well as more understanding of others. Let’s learn the strategies to develop and nurture peace in this chaotic and sometimes terrible world.

We must develop and maintain the capacity to forgive. He who is devoid of the power to forgive is devoid of the power to love. There is some good in the worst of us and some evil in the best of us. When we discover this, we are less prone to hate our enemies. Martin Luther King, Jr.


About Jesse Mathewson

Jesse Mathewson is the author of the popular blog, and provides commentary to many varied places based on a background that includes education in criminal justice, history, religion and even insurgency tactics and tactical training. His current role in his community is as an organizer of sorts and a preacher of community solidarity and agorism. He also runs Liberty Practical Training, a self defense school specializing in the practical applications of defensive approaches versus the theoretical. As an agorist, voluntaryist and atheist his life is seen as crazy and wild by many, though once they get to know him most realize he is a bluntly honest individual who will give you the shirt off his back if he believes it is necessary to help you. Very simple, "That which is voluntary between all individuals involved is always right, if it is not voluntary, it is always wrong."
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4 Responses to Some Ways to Handle Disagreements by Emberlea

  1. jeffreycanthony says:

    NVC rocks, and is so underrated thanks to misunderstanding and loading of it’s title.

    My real question that i’ve been struggling with and that I am fully aware i’ve been a little lazy about actually reading to find answers. How does arbitration work if the other party decides to not participate?


    • In a voluntary society you make the offer, if they accept good, if not so be it and another way will have to do.


      • jeffreycanthony says:

        Mainly something like you and they make a voluntary agreement, and they walk away from their obligation, for example possibly leaving you homeless. They refuse arbitration, what other recourse would you possibly have? I’m not saying this to scuttle possibilities, but this has been the biggest curiosity about other solutions. What other ways are there in a voluntary society?


        • If someone left my family and I homeless because they fell through on their side of a bargain, I hope they aim better then I.

          Let me give you a possible non violent solution however, third party equity holding companies could offer the ability to both secure the agreement (insurance) and secure a portion of funds/equity, until agreement is fulfilled.

          I use these approaches regularly with others and it works well. Nothing is flawless, however, reducing potential of loss to 15-20% is a livable quotient into book.

          If someone bet their entire lives on a deal, and it sank, no offense but they deserve to lose it all. 🙂 personal responsibility!

          With that being said, if someone cheated me and it cost me food for my kids mouths, voluntary system or no, I will recoup that from them. Of course I refuse to leave myself that far out though. 🙂 reduces my potential for loss and increases the peaceful solutions available 🙂


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