(Northern Review Graphic/Lauran)

“I am struggling with having a differing opinion on politics from friends and I am afraid they will view me differently though I don’t view them differently for theirs. Do you think politics are a valid reason for someone to change their opinion of you or end a friendship?”

Good question! This is definitely a tough one and I think there are two parts to this. The first part is whether they will view you differently. If you’re friends, I don’t think they will change their view of you drastically. Unfortunately, some people react differently to different news than others so I cannot tell you that they will or they won’t or if they should or should not, but I can say that if you do not judge others it says something about you and that is all that matters at the end of the day. Take solace in that. 

The second part, I think, can be a little difficult. Again, some people react differently to different news and it does not inherently mean that they are right or wrong. Everyone is entitled to feel the way they do about the things they feel passionately about. However, it is likely that if you are already friends, there is common ground there. There are common values and beliefs and it is important to recognize those things even if you may disagree on the depth of certain issues.

At the end of the day, some believe political ideology represents morals and some think the two things can be distinguished. Wherever you and your friends are on that spectrum, it does no good to feel that you have to hide your beliefs. I think it is very possible to have friends who differ from you on political beliefs. However, I also personally believe that political ideology should not encompass what we consider “human rights” so that may be different for you or your friends. I do not think there is a right answer, I think it is all about your personal convictions. What do you consider to be “politics?”  Do you think politics are a valid reason to think differently of someone? Think about why you became friends in the first place, what common beliefs do you have? If you do not feel comfortable talking about your beliefs, why are you friends? I hope this helped and I hope you’re able to be yourself with your friends and have a group who appreciates you. 

Always, Kayla

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