Hello friends!! As some of you have already seen, I made a survey on my blog to ask you guys what sort of posts you want to be seeing. Yesterday someone asked me to talk about how to respect other people's opinions even when they're different from yours, especially when it comes to politics. I'm incredibly excited to talk about this because I used to struggle with this exact problem, and while I'm definitely not perfect, I've come a long way and I have a ton to share with you guys.
Regardless on where your political opinions lie, I think we can all agree that this recent election has brought up a ton of tension. So many people reacted with hate, including myself. Instead of channeling my emotions in a positive way towards change that is important to me, I turned against everyone who though differently than me. I assumed that everyone who didn't agree with me was stupid and that my opinion was the only right one. I lashed out on social media and said a lot of hurtful things that I am not proud of.
Now I never think that you should step down from your opinion, even when others disagree with you. But I have learned that just as you are entitled to your own opinion, so is everyone else, and their opinion is just as important as yours. I didn't start to change my ways and start looking at the situation like this until I realized that there were people in my life who are very important to me that share different opinions.
I realized that a lot of people thought differently than me who were people that I have a great amount of respect and love for. If you're struggling with talking about politics or any other strong opinion with people who share different views, I suggest you start talking about it with people who you love that think differently than you. I've learned that when I care about someone, hearing their opinion is important to me, and it's also a lot easier to respect their opinion when you respect them.
While talking with with those people that you love and respect may be easier, it can still be really difficult when talking to others that you aren't as close with. I for one find it super frustrating to be arguing with someone when they aren't educated on the topic. It can kill me when I know for a fact that I'm right because I've seen studies proving things and people just don't understand or don't want to see what I'm seeing. So with people like that, just make the decision to not talk to them about certain topics. You'll learn that there are some people that you can talk to about certain things, and some people you should just go ahead and avoid.
A lot of times respect for others can be a pride thing. I know I've struggled with saying "let's just agree to disagree" because I believed they'd think I was weak. I've felt like I couldn't say I respected their opinions for the same reason. But pride is not something that we need. It often gets in the way of friendships. It divides us. The last thing we need at the moment is more division in this world. Instead we need unity, and that comes with respect. It's way easier said than done, but we need to throw away our pride for the sake of unity. Saying you respect someone's opinion doesn't mean you agree with it. It just means you respect the fact that someone is different than you are.
Differences are important and we need them. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, no matter how much you may agree or disagree with it. Just as you want your opinion to be respected, other people want theirs to be respected as well. Give them the same respect that you believe you deserve. Trust me, I know it's hard. I've been there, and it hasn't been pretty. It's great to have conversations about opinions-- it's interesting and you can learn something new. But make sure you're discussing them with the right people. Discuss them with the people who are open to your ideas, just as you should be open to theirs. And please stay off of social media when you're fired up about your opinion. The few retweets you may get are so not worth the feelings you may hurt. I really struggled with this, but I'm learning to put away my phone when I'm triggered. It's so helpful and really saves some friendships.
Discussing sensitive opinions can definitely be difficult. Just make sure you go into any conversation with an open mind. It doesn't mean you need to change your opinion, you just need to let people know that they're being heard and respected. It's the classic golden rule: treat other people the way you want to be treated. It definitely takes work, and I still slip up every once in a while, but it's much easier to catch myself before things get bad. Remember that a difference in opinion isn't a roadblock between you and someone else. Swallow your pride and let it go.
I hope I can help you guys more when I know the different topics that you want me to talk about. If there's anything anyone needs to hear, or any advice you need, please, please, please, fill out the survey and let me know!!
Thanks so much for reading!! See ya later! <3