Why I Won’t Agree to Disagree

“You can be friends with people who have different views than you. If you don’t, you’re part of the problem. Just agree to disagree.”

This is a popular sentiment I see on social media, typically coming from republican/ conservative individuals. Partially they’re right, it’s important to have a diverse group of friends who have different life experiences from you. You should have friends of different ethnicities, religions, genders, sexualities, abilities and upbringings in order to learn more about the world and how those who are different from you experience it.  Except that isn’t what people actually mean when they talk about having friends with different views from you. They are talking about political affiliations specifically, and how liberal and conservative people should be able to be friends despite the others belief system.

I try my best not to completely write someone off due to their political beliefs, however I do not want to surround myself with people who think it’s okay to believe in bigoted things. I will not agree to disagree when someone else’s life, rights, or quality of life is at stake. I will not agree to disagree when you want to strip someone of their rights due to their minority status. That is not the kind of person I want in my life. Living in a fairly conservative suburb in Texas, I’ve lived with these kinds of people my entire life. That means many of my friends over the years have held some disgusting and inexcusable beliefs. After being in many friendships with those who have polar opposite beliefs from my own, I have learned that there becomes a huge divide between the two of you and the relationships often lack honesty. It’s hard to go to that friend for advice or to talk through a problem when their solution is not something you believe is morally right, or you feel judgement from them because of your own views on the situation.

The people who you allow to get close to you effect the way you think and behave. If you surround yourself with people who are homophobic, transphobic, racist, sexist, ableist, etc. after time you begin to become numb to their ignorance, and may even pick up on some of their tendencies.

I do think it is important to listen with an open mind to others beliefs, but that does not mean you have to surround yourself with people whose opinions you condemn. I am not the first person to say this, but agreeing to disagree works when you’re disagreeing about whether or not a certain film is good or if mayonnaise is disgusting (it totally is by the way 🙂 ) Issues like disability rights, reproductive rights, queer rights, immigration, and many others are not something to shrug off as if it isn’t a big deal. So yes, you can and should be friends with people who have different views than you, but that does not include people who have toxic views rooted in ignorance and hatred.

 

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11 thoughts on “Why I Won’t Agree to Disagree

    1. I’ve been in that situation in the past, and for me it was very difficult. I loved my friends so much, but their views were so ugly it made it incredibly hard to keep loving them in the same way. I found myself making excuses for them, and often minimized the harm of their actions, and pretended their views weren’t as bigoted as they really were. I know these friendships do work for some people, so I commend you for sticking it out even if it isn’t easy!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. The thing is that I’m not sure how commendable it is, though. Is it commendable for me sticking it out, or bad for me to have people as friends who hold such toxic views? That’s something I’m still somewhat figuring out.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I think it’s commendable that you gave it a chance, many people dump friendships at the first sign of trouble. Knowing when to stay and when to walk away is the hardest part, and in my experience neither option ever feels 100% right. I hope you figure out the right decision for you!

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Yeahhhh it is hard to determine sometimes when to stay and when not to stay. I personally try to love others as Christ loves me, which for me might sometimes mean loving even when it hurts. But then there’s the question of how much hurt you take before it’s best to care for yourself and maybe walk away? I don’t know.

            Liked by 1 person

  1. Brilliantly said Alyssa!! My big issue is I have a HUGE problem with those that judge other based on how they live their lives, color of their skin and much more. I believe strongly in equality for ALL! I have friends that are black, white and have a different sexual preference that I do. I invited a friend of mine to my wedding that is a lesbian and I was so disappointed she did not bring her partner because she did not want the attention on them and away from me getting married. Both her and her partner are incredible ladies! I am very equal to everyone. I am not a fan at all of the president because he just seems SO FULL of hate and I do not agree with that way of life! I do not like when people are judged on their disability because that is not fair. No one chooses to be disabled so why should they be criticized?
    I am sorry I went off just a little, but this was a very wonderful and passionate post!!!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Never apologize for going off! It’s very unfortunate that many people like your friend feel like they have to tip-toe around other people in order to not offend them. I have zero tolerance for hateful people, and I hope we’ll see Trump leave the Whitehouse soon.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. WOW you and I are on the same page! I have NO tolerance for the hateful people around this country. I do strongly believe that Trump is building the hatred to the highest of levels! I do wish he would just go away, but the one that would take over is not any better! Hell he wanted to have camps to cure gay people. What kind of BS is that? It does make me SO sad that my friend felt she had to basically hide who she was for fear of judgments! I am literally the most nonjudgmental person and will always fight to help those that face that type of behavior!

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I have the same fears about Pence taking over, at least Trump has no idea what he’s doing. Pence on the other hand has quite an extensive political career and anti-LGBT history. Whatever happens, I feel lucky to have allies like you on our side!

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Trump definitely has NO idea what he is doing and no idea what he talks about. Listening to him talk just makes me so angry! All that man does is destroy the country and loves to tweet! Pence does have more knowledge, but he is an idiot as well. Why he fears anyone that has different sexual preferences than he has, just shows weakness. Maybe in the back of his mind he has the same thoughts and feels shame. It is not normal to have so much hate for another, well unless that hate is for Trump!! I will always be on your side!!!

            Liked by 1 person

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