Several months ago, I read in the paper, that the new governor of South Carolina was a man known for his ability to ‘disagree affably.’

I wasn’t quite sure what the reporter meant by this because she didn’t site any examples.

However, I thought it would be a good opportunity for me to share a list of words and attributes I thought described being “affable.”

People who are affable are:

  • pleasant;
  • easy to approach and to talk to;
  • friendly;
  • respectful;
  • cordial and
  • polite.

These traits manifest themselves in a gentle and compassionate demeanor. Affable people are those you want to be around because they make you feel comfortable.

And generally, being affable is a core part of their personal philosophy of life – it’s not something they display occasionally.

One of the big advantages of being affable is reciprocation.  Being friendly tends to open the doors to friendships rather than the creation of enemies.  Respecting others begets respect.

Also, affable people tend to look at the positive side first and don’t rush into negative feelings about things. They look for outcomes that are beneficial to all.

So, now that I developed this list, it’s pretty easy to understand how someone can disagree affably.

Even if you don’t see eye to eye with someone, treating him or her with dignity and respect goes a long way to creating an environment where opinions can be shared and discussed. It allows for an openness to listening and exploring alternative solutions rather than assuming yours is the best and only way.

Affable people carry on no matter how viscous and unforgiving the world is — they know that there’s is a more satisfying way to be.


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