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Writer's Block: Agree to disagree

Have you ever stopped being friends with someone over differences in political views? Are there any issues that are so important to you that you cannot be friends with someone who holds a contrary opinion?

Yes, according to some definitions of friendship.

There are two ways that I generally stop being friends: loss of contact for prolonged time when the other person is not bothering to attempt to keep contact, or an outright breach of politeness, on my part or theirs, which results in a cessation of engagement.

On the other hand, when someone who is an acquaintance who maintains a social/society friendship, I feel no qualms about reducing my estimation of that relationship to "association" all the way out to "I know this person" and possibly to "this is my dearest enemy, we see each other only to continue to confirm our mutual loathing."

Although thankfully nobody has quite gotten the latter.


( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
Oct. 2nd, 2009 12:00 pm (UTC)
I've only really put a couple of people in the "Waste of Oxygen" category over the years, but they worked hard for that classification, so they deserved it. I've probably made my way onto other people's equivalent list, I'm sure Bob did so after I quit.

A few more have ceased communications, sometimes it's my fault, sometimes theirs. Most of this group is made up of artists/writers that I fell out of contact with after I stopped running the VCL. Most of that group would have been acquaintances anyway, not friends.

Given how shy I was most of my life, my friend list stayed very stable. It took so long for me to call somebody a friend that all the quirks had been taken into account by then. Or at least my quirks had. :)

Edited at 2009-10-02 12:03 pm (UTC)
Oct. 2nd, 2009 02:05 pm (UTC)
Yeah, it takes a lot for me to completely, actively give up on someone, they have to go out of their way to piss me off.
Oct. 2nd, 2009 03:16 pm (UTC)
For me, it's never about actual differences in views. I doubt anyone shares all my political and religions views...in fact, a close examination of my views would probably find that I don't even agree with myself all the time! (i.e. I hold two or more positions that cannot be logically reconciled with each other, and if extended too far come into direct conflict. Such is life.)

It's being a strident jerk about those differences that can cause friction. During even-numbered years, my Flist tends to shrink in October as the political blog posts come out of the woodwork and people who are normally interesting to read turn into one-note advocacy machines. (This is not to say I avoid all politically strident people on my Flist, but the ones I keep tend to be political year-round so I can get an honest assessment of their jerkitude immediately rather than having to wait for election season.)
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )