I've been a lurker for a while on this website, but today i had my first "real" problem.
Here's a bit of context : I've been working with this colleague of mine (lets call him bob) for over 3 years and have very good work relations with him (even outside work). Nothing really bad ever happened between us. Whilst we had a few disagreements in the past, we usually got along pretty well. Until today.
We were sitting at the same launch table chit-chatting casually until someone mentions "God, i can't wait to start having some good BBQ this weekend". We start talking about recipes and then we get into a touchy subject : Vegans.
Note that bob has a vegan girlfriend and that we're 3 disagreeing with him at this point, where vegans have a right to request that "meat (or meat juice) shouldn't touch my veggies / tofu / etc on the BBQ".
We get into an argument about how vegans are usually very picky and sometimes they make unreasonable demands, like not touching their own food, etc. He disagrees wholeheartedly then uses the argument that "look, you're allergic (i'm deadly allergic to peanuts / nuts / sea-food), if you're allowed to make demands so that they avoid touching your own food, vegans should have the right to do that, too!".
I quickly point him out that 1) My allergies are very severe and that if i ever eat something that contains them, i will die, not just be upset that about it and 2) I will usually avoid eating the same as everyone and will never impose myself upon others just because I have allergies. I will just order take-out and leave it at that.
This is where it escalates.
After 2 mins of back-and-fort, he gets pretty upset because we can't reach an agreement on the matter. He then raises his tone higher and higher by the minute. I lose my patience and say (this is my mistake) "Stop. We're not going to agree on this so just stop". He gets even more upset and start saying that i'm disrespecting him and that if i have a problem, we can go "talk about it somewhere else (fight?)". At this point, i start getting annoyed (not upset) and i say "what the hell, do you have a problem or something?). We exchange a few more words (can't recall) and since He's clearly mad i say "let's just agree to disagree, you're right, i'm wrong, whatever, and let's leave it at that". He says "Damn right i'm right" and we both parts on our ways.
Now, while i was probably not the most tactful about my words, his reaction took me off guard. a lot. Escalating for a fight over just a disagreement is what is ticking me off.
I was planing on waiting for the dust to settles and since i do not like conflicts at the work place, to simply go talk to him after work and say something like "We were both wrong, i'm sorry i got disrespected you etc etc".
Would this be the correct approach (along with never talking about that subject ever again)? I'm pretty sure he was just "tilted" and he losts his cool when we argued, but like i said, i'm unsure how to approach him about it. I honestly feel like he disrespected me too and that he should also apologize.
Is this the correct approach?