In Brené Brown’s book Braving the Wilderness she touches on a divisive mindset shared across the globe: If you’re not with us you’re against us. If you have ever found yourself thinking ‘I could never be friends with someone who believes XYZ’ then you have to some extent adopted this mindset. Here’s why it doesn’t work.
You’re Closing Your Mind
I used to have an ‘I could never be friends with someone who believes…’ topic. Then about a year into a friendship, I found out that a dear friend was on the polar opposite of this very topic. It took some work for us to agree to disagree, but in the end, I learned a valuable lesson—that I did have much in common with someone whose beliefs I didn’t completely align with.
You Will Never Agree With Someone 100%
Not only is it closed minded to discount someone who disagrees with you on something you feel passionate about, but the fact of the matter is that you will never have anyone you 100% agree with. Not your parents, not your spouse, not your best friend. It comes back to finding our common ground and focusing most of our attention on that.
The key to maintaining relationships with someone with whom you avidly disagree with is to respect their right to believe differently—which is entirely different than agreeing with them.