by Jason Wisdom
Being in a band on the road is sort of like being married. You have to learn how to live together (in very close quarters), make decisions together, eat together, sleep together (often on floors or in cheap hotel rooms), encourage and correct one another, share responsibilities, manage the money, pay the bills (or go into debt), dream, bleed, and sweat together. Just like in marriage, disagreements are inevitable. People's feelings will get hurt, it will not always be pretty (though very often petty), and it will not always get resolved in a way that makes everyone happy. One of the most important skills that one must develop in order to survive in that sort of relationship, is the ability to disagree, but stay friends.
When I was in the band, I argued with a particular one of our guitars players A LOT. Sometimes it was over an important band related decision. Other times it was about a movie. We argued about anything and everything. But at the end of it all, we were still friends. We have both made this observation at different points through the years, and expressed how much we appreciated the dynamic. We still argue on a semi-regular basis via social media. Most importantly, we are still friends. You might be thinking, "good for you, what's the point?" Well, it is more significant than it sounds. I am not talking about a, "can't we all just get along," type of thing--like you might have to do with a family member that really drives you insane, but you have to put up with them during the holidays. No. What I am talking about goes beyond simply learning to avoid conflict in order to keep the peace. That can be useful, and it is often necessary. But I am talking about learning how to face the conflict, stand your ground, argue vigorously, and still be friends when it is all over. Obviously, there is no secret formula, and some people are just not going to be reasonable. Even so, here are couple of quick tips that will help improve your discussions with people who disagree with you…
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