Beliefs and friendship

Discussion in 'The Fire Hydrant' started by OwnedByBCs, May 13, 2013.

  1. OwnedByBCs

    OwnedByBCs Will Creep For Sheep

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    I am pretty opinionated when it comes to things like marriage equality, abortion, religion, legalization, etc. I'm very socially liberal (Libertarian), but many of my friends I am starting to learn are not. At what point do political/social beliefs get in the way of a friendship? Can you be friends with someone who has radically different beliefs than you and is very vocal about it? How do you deal with friendships like that, when it seems that all they talk about is religion, or politics?

    Have you ever ended a friendship over beliefs or political affiliation?

    Does this post have too many questions?
     
  2. milos_mommy

    milos_mommy Active Member

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    Political/social beliefs get in the way of a friendship when one party has a complete inability to understand the other party's point of view, even if they disagree with it, or refuse to accept the other's opinion. Basically, when one person becomes disrespectful to the other's beliefs.

    I have some radically different beliefs from quite a few of my friends, but I'm not sure I'd say any of us are particularly vocal about it. I wouldn't be friends with anyone who strictly talked about religion or politics. A lot of my friends with very different views will post constantly on FB with their opinions...but that's facebook, so who cares. An occasional comment or discussion about major issues is fine, but incessantly talking about it or being disrespectful OR trying to change someone's views is annoying.

    I've never ended a friendship over politics, religion, etc...but I also think most highly opinionated people make it very clear from the beginning what their views are, and I don't tend to make friends who can't change the subject from their radical views.
     
  3. Laurelin

    Laurelin I'm All Ears

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    Hmmm. I have had very good friendships with lots of different people of varying beliefs and lifestyles. There does not have to be approval from each party towards the other's lifestyle but there needs to be respect. If both people can show the other respect then I don't see why that wouldn't work. That said some people just aren't mature enough and feel the need to constantly make things a problem. I have not ended friendships but I have avoided getting into a deeper friendship with some people who seem to feel the need to be confrontational about how wrong X group is constantly.
     
  4. Dizzy

    Dizzy Sit! Good dog.

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    My friends and I rarely talk about religion and politics. We all have beliefs, some very strong, but we tend to not need to debate with one another.

    We like to talk about our lives, things we have been up to. Etc. We socialise.
     
  5. xpaeanx

    xpaeanx Active Member

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    This.
     
  6. sparks19

    sparks19 I'd rather be at Disney

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    This.

    :)
     
  7. BostonBanker

    BostonBanker Active Member

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    I am pretty much the opposite of most of my friends and coworkers politically. It's something I'm fully aware of, and most of them are as well. I mostly don't care one way or the other, because they are people who do truly research and understand the issues and just have a different take on them. I have zero issues with someone who actually knows what they are talking about but believes the opposite of me.

    I have some friends with whom I can have fun, interesting, and occasionally eye-opening debates. I have some friends with whom we don't bring stuff up, either because we know it will cause issues, or it just isn't something that comes up in our discussions.

    And I have some friends who get blocked for about 4 months surrounding major elections on Facebook, and who I try to avoid during that time.

    I really only have one person in my life that I've essentially written out (other than a business relationship) because of how they handle such issues. It isn't their beliefs that ended the mild friendship; it was the constant screaming on Facebook about how people with my beliefs are evil spawns of demons (that's only a very mild exaggeration). Interestingly, and maybe not surprisingly enough, I've learned since then that she is in general a very unstable person, and I've seen her blow up in public over the stupidest things ever.
     
  8. HayleyMarie

    HayleyMarie Like a bat outa' hell

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    Honestly I could care less what other people believe, I know my friends are going to believe in different things than I do. I only have an issue with it when they turn into big jerks about other religions and what other people believe. I believe people have a right to believe what they want to, regardless what I believe in.

    For example, one of my best friends is hardcore into stock dogs, but she is a dominance trainer. Do I agree with it. no and she knows this, but we are able to have civil conversations about dog training, which are always full of information and learning from each other. She also has no issues with how I train my dogs. She knows it works for me.

    Her dogs are very, very well trained and happy, confident dogs and I would let her watch my dogs in a heart beat. The main thing is we bounce ideas off each other and learn from each other.
     
  9. milos_mommy

    milos_mommy Active Member

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    Heck, there are quite a few people even on Chaz who have really drastically different views than I do (and voice those in appropriate threads) and I think they're lovely, respectable people.

    And quite a few people who have the exact same views as I do, but are rude and degrading when trying to voice their opinions - and I think they're jerks.

    That's how I feel IRL, too. I'd much rather be friends with a conservative, socially republican, devout Christian who's able to respectfully talk about how they feel without putting others down (and talk about other things when appropriate), than someone irreligious or "Buddhist" who shares all my views on socioeconomics but either can't shut up about it or makes other people feel inferior.
     
  10. Whisper

    Whisper Kaleidoscopic Eye

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    This.


    I'm also in a very uncomfortable situation right now. I made new friends at a "charismatic" church. I was really into it, but I realized I got totally carried away, and I'm still more agnostic than anything.
    It wouldn't be a problem, but I know these people will think I'm going to Hell and will do everything they can to help me get saved again. I respect their beliefs until I end up caught in the judgement.
    I don't know what to do. The pastor had me pray for forgiveness for yoga. :confused: So yeah, these people have done so much for me and I love them, but I totally avoid conversations about religion, which is hard because that's a lot of what our friendship is based on and how we met.

    I'm used to being the opposite of people politically and everything. I just don't take kindly to being told I'm going to burn for eternity. Is that not a thought one can keep to oneself?
     
  11. Xandra

    Xandra Active Member

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    Depends how objectionable I find their belief, how vocal they are, etc.

    Like, I wouldn't be friends with someone into animal rights. It just would never work, because WHEN I'm talking about my day-to-day life and plans, it would come up again and again.

    Even if the issue doesn't surface in day-to-day life, I probably lose interest in being friends with someone who frequently ranted about the objectionable ideology/viewpoint. I like debate/discussion and am happiest when I can be open and straightforward and speak my mind comfortably. If someone really likes to express their viewpoint on things, and I don't like it, then I'm going to spend too much time holding my tongue or disagreeing... so the friendship probably won't be worth it to me.

    Never really been in that situation with a good friend though, just acquaintance-friends.
     
  12. swaimp

    swaimp Member

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    I find that the people I tend to become friends with are people who hold strong beliefs, and often beliefs that don't go happily along with my own views, but they also tend to be open-minded and are able to articulate why they believe the way they believe and want to hear my point of view as much as I want to hear theirs.

    I love to hear different points of view and to try and understand where those points of view come from.

    I guess there is an exception...I don't spend a lot of time trying to understand bigotry. The one friendship that I can think of that ended over different beliefs was with someone I had known for years before his true feelings came shining through...all it took was a presidential election.
     
  13. CaliTerp07

    CaliTerp07 New Member

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    I married someone with completely opposite political viewpoints. We laugh that we cancel each other out on voting day, but that's really the only day it comes up. We just don't talk about it.
     
  14. Paviche

    Paviche Duuuuude.

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    Depends on the issues and how close we are, I guess. I could never be more than courteous with someone who is against gay rights, for example. Or like someone else said I couldn't be close to someone who supports the whole animal rights cause because we are inevitably going to clash over that, and hard.

    Someone's position on fiscal issues doesn't really matter to me but there are at least a few social issues that I feel strongly enough about that it would be a problem.
     
  15. Linds

    Linds Twin 2

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    I've actually found out that, not on purpose I tend to be much closer friends with people who share similar political/religious beliefs and/or moral and ethical positions. It wasn't intentional and while there are certainly differences in certain aspects overall we seem to have viewpoints that are pretty inline.

    I may have a lot of acquaintances of a wide variety but I do find that when I find out things about someone that I find incredibly bigoted or prejudiced I look at them differently and I don't think I could become closer with them. It would definitely affect any friendship or potential friendship.

    For example, there was a women that was always nice to me that would come into my work, we would chat about dogs and superficial things. Then one day she came in and proudly boasted how there was this "it" (transgender) working at a restaurant and how her and her husband told "it" that "it" shouldn't be allowed in public around other people.

    After that I was never able to look at her the same. Just wasn't going to happen and had she shown interest in becoming closer I probably wouldn't have because I'm not ok with associating with people that treat others like that.

    Now, someone that has a radically different belief but still treats everyone well? That I can probably do, especially if they are someone that I CAN discuss things with even if we don't always agree. Because I like my real friendships to have more to them that "how's the weather" and I do tend to discuss religious, politics, current events and viewpoints so taking that out will limit things. But I still tend to gravitate towards people with morality and ethics inline with me, which still might mean religious and might mean a different political standing but there is a similarity there.

    I do though love the people that still treat everyone with respect but that we can argue over things, discuss them, have raging debates and still get along great. Those are fun friends too! But, a harder chemistry to have I think. You need the right combo of personalities.
     
  16. Toller_08

    Toller_08 Active Member

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    I don't tend to talk about religion/politics/controversial things etc. much and honestly have no idea of the viewpoints friends or even many family members/relatives have on many of those subjects. No real reason why... they just don't come up.

    With that said, I think that the only way certain beliefs would cause any kind of an issue is if I felt that the person were pushing their beliefs on me or were judging me because my beliefs may be different from their's and they therefore think I'm 'wrong' and view me differently for it and we didn't have enough commonalities to balance out the differences.

    I feel that I am a pretty easy going and open minded person and get along well with the majority of people and really don't tend care a lot what somebody's beliefs are when it comes to most major issues, unless they're way out there or are something that just does not mesh well with how I feel at all. Like in Linds' description of that discriminatory woman badmouthing somebody transgender, something like that would not fly well with me. I strongly disagree with discrimination of any kind and would have a very, very hard time talking to a person with such viewpoints unless I had to (like if they were a customer of mine or something - I'd keep it business only, no friend option).

    I do however think that it is easier to feel closer to and have a better relationship sometimes with those that have similar viewpoints on most things. Sometimes opposite is good too, but it's nice to share common ground on different things. Makes me feel a bit more comfortable sometimes, just so I don't say something offensive or something by accident.

    I did have a friend growing up who was super religious. One of my best friends. However, on occassion I found certain topics difficult to discuss, because I am not religious at all and there was a moment that I felt she thought that was weird or wrong of me, but it was a fleeting moment and I think just an insecurity on my part. But for as religious as she was, the topic didn't come up that much and when it did, while sometimes I didn't know what to say, it didn't really bother me either. We shared plenty enough other things in common. So no, I've never ended a friendship/had one end based on opposing view points. While I don't entirely know the viewpoints on a variety of subjects that the people I know have, the ones I do know of that differ to mine have never been enough to be relationship ending.
     
  17. Airn

    Airn New Member

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    I have a hard time being (close) friends with people with opposing viewpoints. Religion is a big topic for my friends and I and we relate on our similarities. I have friends that are Christian, yes, but there are many things we will never discuss because of our differences. I tend to not have Repulican friends because they USUALLY have SEVERAL different viewpoints than I do. It's more of a 'friends of a feather flock together' thing. I don't say "Oh you're a Jew. We can't be friends." But I have less in common with someone who is Jewish than someone who agnostic, generally.

    I don't go out of my way to avoid people with opposing viewpoints, but I can't say I'd want one as a best friend. I'm very 'into' religious topics and 'rights' and all that.

    So it's not usually that someone IS that religion or political part or whatever, it's what they believe surrounding that. If that makes sense.
     
  18. ThatCrazyGroomer

    ThatCrazyGroomer Member

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    My political and religious beliefs tend to stay out of conversation with all but the closest of my friends. I don't think they're anyone's business. I don't discuss them with people with whom I know I can't have a civilized discussion about it all the way through, I'd rather keep my friends than have them realize what an @$$ I am about politics, etc. As much as I love to debate, many of my beliefs are VERY different than most of my friends, so its not a topic I broach and usually stay away from if it comes up.
     
  19. Pops2

    Pops2 New Member

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    Well there's part of the problem, you have your terminology confused. Social liberalism supports big govt in social areas like health, education, welfare programs etc. libertarians do not.
    But yeah, as long as you don't fall into the far left/right mindset that everyone who disagrees with you is either a moron or evil, it shouldn't be a problem.
     
  20. speedydogs

    speedydogs Allons-y!

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    Depends on the issue and how close I am to the person. Generally, no, it doesn't bother me - I have several good friends that I am the complete opposite of politically and religiously. We both realize that's it's possible to respect someone's beliefs without agreeing with them, and it just doesn't really come up or affect our relationship. However, I don't think I could be friends with someone who was disrespectful or constantly tried to push their beliefs on me. I also have a hard time enjoying someone's company if I consider them rude or bigoted (like in Linds' story).

    That being said, my very closest friends are all pretty similar to me ideologically. I think this is mainly because I do like discussing religion, politics, issues, etc. with my friends, and it's harder to do that comfortably with people that are very different than you, while still maintaining the friendship.
     

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