It’s a common problem that comes up in a friendship where both people can’t agree on something they discuss, whether it be politics, religion, or a simple moral value. Once an issue like this arises, it’s easy for us to start second guessing if we can continue getting along with our friend and get past the fact that we believe two different things. If you are struggling with how to accept your differences then you need to remember that when it comes to certain issues, nobody is right, but everyone is entitled to their opinion.
There is a reason why most people have several friends that they keep close to them that they can talk about a variety of topics with. Maybe one of your friends doesn’t agree on the casual relationships you take on in your personal life. The easy solution is that you simply need to not discuss that with them, and rather consult a different friend that would understand and support you.
Here are some things to keep in mind when it comes to maintaining friendships despite disagreements.
1. Turn to Different Friends for Different Topics – If you need help making a decision that you know some of your friends may not agree with, make sure you only seek advice from the friends that you know will support you. Someone with a neutral point of view on hot topic issues or someone who doesn’t let politics or religion get in the way of any advice they give would be an ideal friend to turn to. For example, if you have some touchy dating issues, make sure you only seek discuss them with a friend who could relate to or understand your issues so that you don’t have to worry about offending anyone or even feeling judged yourself.
2. Agree to Disagree – Make sure that whenever a topic comes up in conversation that you know you both can’t agree on, you are always respectful of your friend’s view. Saying something like “ I see your point” is enough to let them know you respect their opinion and you accept it. After a touchy subject is brought up and you let your friend know you support their view, try to move on to a neutral subject.
3. It’s Never the End of the World – No matter what issue is at hand, keep in mind that there is a reason you choose to have your friends in your life. There are obviously several things you enjoy doing together or things you have in common. A simple argument or disagreement should NEVER mean that your friendship is over, and if it does, then you need to reevaluate who you let into your life. Does the issue at hand mean that you and your friend can never coexist together? Well, it shouldn’t
At the same time, you always need to remember to be a good friend to others so here are two tips on maintaining your end of the friendship despite disagreements.
1. Be Supportive – Even if you don’t agree with what your friend is doing or saying, it’s important that you respect their opinions. You can always apologize that you can’t offer much guidance on a certain topic and then suggest that they discuss things with one of their other friends that might understand them more.
2. Opposites Attract – Sometimes you need a friend that can disagree with the bad decisions you might be planning on making. At the same time, never be afraid to let your friend know if you think something they are involved with isn’t a good idea for THEIR OWN well-being.
+Ellen Ross writes on her blog Ask Away, an advice and fashion blog, where she posts about life, love, fashion, fitness, and a variety of other topics. She lives in Carlisle, Pennsylvania with her 4 Chihuahuas and works for the Pennsylvania Department of Health. You can read her blog at www.askaway.com.