I Don’t DisagreePosted: March 10, 2015
I’ve been hearing this phrase a lot recently and I dislike it. But why? It’s a double negative and also strikes me as a bit of a cop out. It clearly doesn’t mean “I agree.” Rather, I think it only eliminates “I disagree” from a range of opinions. Alternatives left on the table include “I partially agree,” “I’m undecided,” “I partially disagree,” or any number of other variations.
What bothers me most is when an explanation doesn’t follow. This sentence cries out to be finished with another clause that begins “…but…” and ends with an explanation. Left as is, it effectively closes off the conversation. Instead, I would prefer to continue a dialogue that would reveal points of agreement and disagreement, eventually leading to consensus. It seems like the person saying “I don’t disagree” expects me to keep offering ideas until, by some stroke of luck, they finally agree or disagree. It feels like a tool of passive aggression.
Do you agree?