You don’t understand how they can possibly think that way. But of course they feel the same way about you.
Here are a few things to consider when navigating your friendship with people of other political slants.
1. Everyone has a unique story.
Your life story is unique to you. Your friend’s story plays a powerful role in how he or she views the world. Story is powerful and creates a strong pull in our own political views.
2. Fear is a strong motivator.
To be authentic means to admit you have fears. So does your friend. People on the opposite ends of the political landscape usually are concerned about different problems. No doubt, you believe the fears of your friend are ridiculous. However, to him or her, the fear is real. Political decisions, to varying degrees, pull people more toward one end of the political landscape.
3. Your Social Media Post won’t Change His or Her Opinion.
The more you post about that politician, most likely the greater the chance they will hide your posts. They may “unfriend” you on social media, or avoid you all together. So think carefully before you post. The same goes with the-posts.
4. Express Your Feelings in a Safe, Healthy Way.
Express your disappointment, resentment, sadness and anger in healthy ways. Writing helps immensely. If you’re worried that someone will find your writing, shred it. The important thing is to release the feelings so you don’t say verbally (or on social media) something you’ll regret.
5. Remember Your Friend’s Positive Qualities.
Do you enjoy hiking together? Or shopping, watching or playing sports, or sipping lattes together?
6. Take a Time Out Before Saying Something You Regret
You might need a break from the friendship for a while. Healthy boundaries create safety so learn to take breaks before you speak or write.
7. Agree to Disagree and Discuss Boundaries
Talking about the elephant in the room lovingly will set up clear boundaries. If you and your friend can’t agree on this, you may want to re-evaluate the friendship. Speak your true heart in a caring, compassionate way that is respectful of him or her as a person.
Your friend has a different life story, world view and set of circumstances than you do. Respect his or her value as a person, and think carefully before you speak or write. Proceed with caution and remember why you enjoyed the friendship in the first place.