Can you hang out with folks who have beliefs you don't agree with

This came up in conversation between some friends and I the other day, and I’m curious how other folks think. Let’s say a friend says “Oh, you have to meet my buddy Joe, you guys have a ton in common, and I think we’d have a good time.” then mentions that Joe has a lifestyle or belief that, though not illegal or unethical, you just personally have issues with. Like, let’s say Joe is an anti-vaxxer and you think that’s a really stupid belief, or Joe and his wife have an open marriage, and you are very uncomfortable about the idea of sleeping around on a spouse, even if it’s all in the open and both parties are OK with it. Assume other than the certain lifestyle/belief, the person is by all accounts a lovely person and you have much in common with them.

My friends and I were more or less evenly divided on this one, with some saying “I just have no desire to hang with someone who has beliefs that I find so uncomfortable” and “As long as they don’t dominate the conversation with it or try to change my mind, I have no issues hanging out and potentially becoming friends with them.”

What say you?

I assume that one of those groups is unwilling to hang out with the other?

Not sure what you mean? It was more or less a theoretical conversation, I don’t recall exactly how it came up. All the folks involved are friends and have no issues being around each other.

I live with people whom I agree on almost nothing with ….I just roll my eyes and ignore them ………………

One group believes they can’t hang out with folks who have beliefs they don’t agree with; the other group believes otherwise.

I am fairly certain everyone I know has differing beliefs and ideals than me. Not ever been a problem, yet.

It really depends if they inject politics into everything. I can’t spend more than an hour with my dad. Even just driving around, everything used to be an anti-Obama rant. Pull into a parking lot and see an electric vehicle charging station? That’s the jumping off point for a 15 minute anti-Obama rant.

A friend of mine used to watch football together. Our disagreements used to be on the play called by the QB. Then, he also became so infected with Obama derangement syndrome that he couldn’t spend 3 hours without spewing anti-Obama nonsense. No, the president being born in Kenya didn’t have anything to do with a bad call by a football referee.

But, I have two friends that I disagree with and yet we get along splendidly. One of them, we will spend time listening to music and our only differences are which of Sibelius’ symphonies are the best. We also disagree over craft beer, but even though his politics are far more left than I do, if anything comes up, we can joke about it.

I really don’t mind arguing with my sister or my nephew. Sometimes though I wonder if my sister deliberately pretends to believe in weird things just to get a rise out of me. Recently my nephew seems to have adopted the philosophy of “Nothing is really true so why believe in anything”. Which really pisses me off for some reason.

Most people I hang out with have differing beliefs and ideals than me. I mean, as long as the other person is not a Nazi or is trying to impose his or her beliefs on me the whole evening, what does it matter? While at the same time I’m most often genuinly interested in the reasons behind others beliefs that differs from mine, so given that the other guy has thought them though somewhat I would probably like to hear more about it. I think it is important to be able to hang out with people with differing beliefs; an opinion does not define a person.

Sure, but it depends how strongly they have to push those beliefs in everyday conversation.

For example, I have a few rather conservative friends, but once one of them used the term (not ironically) “muslim-in-chief” I stopped following him on FB.

Depends on the beliefs we disagree on.

They think dogs are better than cats? I don’t agree, but it’s not a deal-breaker. A belief like that wouldn’t indicate anything about their morals or values.

They think all cats should be exterminated? It would be hard for me to be around that person. Doesn’t matter if they stay quiet about it.

I like people okay, but I’m not that starved for company that I feel the need to hang out with just anyone.

Pretty much this. I wouldn’t want to hang out with anyone who injects politics into everything even if it’s something I agree with.

Every goddamn day at work. I work with a bunch of conservative, church-going, ex-military Midwestern homophobes, and I have nothing in common with any of that. I talk to them as little as possible and try to keep everything work-oriented, but whenever there’s an option of a group lunch or dinner, I’ve got something going on, can’t make it, sorry.

I do and I have, but to be honest, it’s an uneasy situation. For instance, I have a friend who’s an anti-vaxxer. Logic and science don’t budge her beliefs: all anti-vaxxers are conspiracy theorists in that they believe there’s a huge conspiracy between Big Pharma, the FDA, and doctors. I’ve banned the topic from our conversations so I don’t end up screaming, “That is SO FREAKING STUPID!” at her. I value her friendship because she’s a kind, compassionate, intelligent person who has other things in common with me.

I also have Trump-supporting friends.

What it boils down to is I have a lot of imaginary arguments when I shower, wash the dishes, etc.

I used to be able to when I was younger. No longer. Could be I’m older and more stubborn, could be the Others have become more radical, could be a combination thereof.

Sure I can. But they have to like arguing if they’re going to bring up the subjects that we disagree about.

Absolutely, my best friend is a Yankee fan…seriously, I have good friends that share very differing political, religious and cultural views, the common denominator is they are all, nice, intelligent, reasonable people who don’t dwell on our differences and aren’t threatened by an opposing view…when we talk about the differences, we do so frankly, openly and respectfully…no big deal…

One of my brother-in-laws is a ‘Flat Earther’, and as a chemist and one who has flown AROUND (yup, it’s round) the world numerous times, I find it best we just don’t discuss it…beyond that, he’s a great guy, I can hang with him all day, great sense of humor, laid-back, just a good guy…

My wife and I are convinced it’s like a preacher thing, he’s kind of a youtube “Flat Earth” poster, he has a lot of followers, we think it fills his need to be ‘respected’ or ‘listened to’, it’s so totally out of character for him…we just avoid the subject, and all is good…there’s just some subjects in life that aren’t even worth the breath to discuss…

Depends on the beliefs.

So long as they aren’t evangelical about whatever we disagree on I can hang out with just about anyone.