Friendship and Politics: How To Get Along With Friends With Opposing Political Views
When we make friends with someone, it is usually based on the things that you have in common, same taste in music, sense of style, or you may laugh at the same corny jokes. However, there are those times when you may not see eye to eye. What happens if you have friends that have opposing political views? Should you talk politics or just stick only to what you have in common?
In November 2016, the country elected a new president. Unfortunately, the outcome of this election has caused a divided nation. How do we embrace our differences in friendship during these times? Should you just walk away from the friendship and say see you in four years?
Six Tips That We Believe Will Help The Friendships Survive
- Have a heart to really listen to your friends. Take the time out to learn more about your friend’s point of view. If you have questions about their views, don’t get caught up in a back and forth shouting match over whose views are correct. Instead seek to look at your friend’s perspective by asking open-ended questions and seeking clarity about their views.
- Try not to get all in your feelings. As we have seen over the last year or so, expressing opposing political views has caused major blowups on various media outlets and personal circles. Since the issue is quite sensitive, maintain respect for one another at all costs. Telling your friend that they are wrong for feeling the way that they do will unlikely change their mind.
- Never try to change your friends political views. An individual’s view is based on their interpretation of a set of facts. You can have all the quotes and polls of all the respected experts in the field and your friend will have all of their expert opinions to defend their point of view.
- Avoid imposing your political views on your friends. Political conversations should not be focused on who is wrong or who is right. Use them as an opportunity to have a healthy dialogue about what you strongly believe and try to relax and enjoy the discussion. This can be difficult but you can do it.
- Social Media, Social Media. How would you feel if your social media was flooded with the opinions that you totally disagree with constantly? So don’t go crazy on your friends feeds to show them how much you oppose of their choice. It is fine to post your political opinions, but the constant banter is what causes an explosion. If your friends are constantly posting mean-spirited tweets and put down perspectives on Facebook and Instagram about views that you disagree with, try hiding their feeds if you feel like you are going to go off.
- Sometimes you have to agree to disagree If you feel your emotions running high during these conversations, take a break. Sometimes you may have to be the bigger person and walk away in order to save the friendship. You don’t want to say something that you can’t take back. If you see that your friend is trying to end the conversation, let them. Don’t try to force anything. If things have become too heated, it’s time to end it. Just remember that no matter what your political differences may be, your friendship should be what’s most important.
Share with us how you are handling political differences in your friendships. We want to hear from you. Next time, we will focus on how to spend time focusing on those common interests you will have with your friends.