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Friendship and Politics - Can They Mix?

Friendship and Politics – Can They Mix?

by Larry Miller

Making new friends can be a tricky process. When we first meet someone new, we often get the advice to stick to very safe small talk conversations. We are told that we should never discuss controversial topics such as religion or politics with people we have just met. Either of these two topics can result in a bitter argument if both people are passionate about their differing points of view. You can easily destroy all chances at a friendship if you discuss controversial topics too soon.

Is it always true that we should never bring up the topic of politics with someone we have just met? Is it possible to develop a good friendship or romance with a person if you hate their political beliefs? What if you are attracted to someone, but you hate their politics? Should you limit your friendships and relationships to people who share your political views?

Today in many countries, politics has become very intense, and differing political views can spark an intense argument.

In spite of this, the advice to avoid all discussion of politics with people that you don’t know very well is not always necessary.

For example, you might find yourself at a political convention surrounded by thousands of people you don’t know, yet you would have a good chance of having great political discussions with anyone of them. It’s very possible that most of the people you meet at such an event will love having political conversations with you.

There’s another time you might want to bring up politics right away, even when you don’t know how the other person will react. You might be one of those people who takes politics so seriously that you don’t want to get to know a person slowly and only later find out that their political beliefs don’t match your own.

In such a case, you might prefer to have your political discussions right away so that you decide whether or not you want to invest more time in this person.

Most of us are not that extremely passionate about our politics, yet politics still has the potential to break up relationships, especially in the early stages.

That’s why we are usually advised to stay away from discussing politics until we know a person better.

Many people who have very strong political opinions also dislike any people who have a differing point of view. They are not willing to be tolerant of people with other political views. This makes it very difficult to make bonds of friendship or love if the other person has different political beliefs.

Still, some people have managed to create successful friendships and marriages even though both people have differing political views. How do they manage this? It’s more likely that people with differing political viewpoints can make a successful friendship if neither of them are very passionate about politics.

Before you decide to bring up the topic of politics with a person you don’t know well, ask yourself how you will react if it turns out that their point of view is the opposite of your own. Then ask yourself whether you think it’s worth the risk.

In some cases, people with very different political opinions manage to stay good friends or even have happy marriages because they actually enjoy having passionate arguments about politics. They have enough respect for each other that they can overlook their differences. In other cases, friends with different points of view simply decide to avoid any political discussions altogether.

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