losing friends over idealogical differences

Have you ever stopped being friends with someone because you just couldn’t stomach their political views? What about a really really really good friend? See, I really don’t want to lose a certain friend of mine. She’s one of my newest friends, but also one of my closest. Whenever certain topics come up, though, I lose a little bit of respect for her. It seems like she purposely walks around with her eyes closed and her hands over her ears. (Of course, I’m sure I sound the same way to her.) I’m just starting to wonder if eventually I’m going to get so disgusted that I don’t even want to discuss neutral topics with her. So, I put the question to you. Has this ever happened to anyone? Any words of wisdom?

Don’t bring up those topics? I have a really good friend who has extreme opposite views on abortion than I do and we’re both quite dedicated in our beliefs. But she is, for all intent purposes, a very good friend. So I just don’t discuss that issue with her. And she does the same. It’s worked quite well for the last five years.

Unless we’re talking about bigotry than no, I wouldn’t stop being friends with them.

And with all due respect; what makes you think you’re so brilliant that all your political views are the best ones?

Just something to think about.

I personally have never stopped being friends with someone over political/social views, but I have a friend that stopped being friends with me for those reasons.

I once had a friend who was an extreme libertarian and we eventually drifted apart. We enjoyed arguing and it probably had little to do with our drifting apart.

How extreme? He wanted to collect a toll from anyone who walked on “his” sidewalk. All roads would be privately built (on purchased land) and similarly collect tolls. Municipal water and sewage would be similarly forbidden. Only police and military would be socialized.

Yes I have. The guy reached almost cultist fervor on whatever his latest views and scam was based on those views. All my family members were eventually told by me that they were under no circumstances to speak to him about me, especially giving were I worked or lived. Being around the guy on led to bad choices when you gave him any credibility. He was a life wrecker.

Just. Don’t. Talk. About. That. Stuff.


Hell, how many “controversial” issues are there? Dozens? Dozens and Dozens?

For most of those issues, folks are often split roughly 50/50.

Take one issue. Your potential pool of friends has dropped roughly 50 percent. Two issues, now your down to 25 percent. For N issues, its drops to one out of 2 raised to the N.

Eight measely issues and now you are down to 1 out 2^8 or 1 out 256. Tens issues and its one out 1024. A few more issues and you need a small town to find even one person who will align with all your “important” views.

Do you want to argue with everyone on the planet about one thing or another ?

Me, I’d rather not. And the little arguing I do feel like doing I’ll bring here or somewhere on the internet.

I just found out last year that one of my bestest friends in the whole world, since I was 13, is an extremely conservative Republican (but with zero of the Jesus Stuff). I guess I should have assumed she had these views - she’s just a conservative person - but actual political leanings have not come up in the 16 years we’ve been friends. Me, on the other hand, drank the Obama juice pretty early and grew increasingly angry with Republicans over the last 2 years. I have gotten to be more Liberal every year (oddly enough, I am the religious one of the two of us!)

Anyway, I love her more than I hate her political views so we just do not talk about that stuff, ever. If something does come up I quickly steer the conversation elsewhere or just keep my mouth shut. We get along just fine talking about the millions of other things there is to talk about, so we’re all good. She is so stubborn and I am so stubborn that if it actually did come up seriously, there would be a horrible explosion and I’d lose a fantastic friendship.

Although, I did date a Young Republican once, during a time when I was really figuring out my political views (the 2004 elections). The more I got to know his political views the more I hated him. We did break up shortly after the election and even though he was a colossal prick in many other ways, I think his Republican-ism was the straw that broke the camel’s back.

"It seems like she purposely walks around with her eyes closed and her hands over her ears. (Of course, I’m sure I sound the same way to her.) "


I’m a conservative agnostic Republican voter (yes, we exist)!. Many of my friends, and most every woman I’ve ever had the fortune to date, have been Democrats of varying degrees to the left of me. I’ve had some great arguments with them, but I’ve never lost a friend over it all.

I think the tack to take is that, in the end, it’s just politics. Small-p. Not that important in daily life-- or at least it shouldn’t be. We’re all Americans (assuming you are American, Jellyfish ;-). We have far more in common with each other than our differences-- we’re not all unique and original snowflakes.

But the one thing every human being has in common, no matter the country or creed, is that we will ALL disagree with each other over something. The only person we 100% agree with is ourselves (and even then, sometimes not ;-).

Personally, I have more problems with people who are dicks and bitches (pardon the language) than people who hold different political views. It’s a 50/50 electorate, more or less. Can’t ever forget that.

As the folks above wrote, don’t talk about politics if you end up fighting about politics. Or, even better if you can, agree to disagree-- argue about politics, but establish rules for arguing, i.e. don’t take it personally, and don’t lose your friendship over it.

Obviously, there are certain exceptions-- as noted by SHAKES above, bigotry can be a dealbreaker for most folks, including me. But even then, realize that what appears to be bigotry to you (or your friend) could in reality be something else entirely-- either misinformation, bias, or every once in a while, a good point about human nature.

Finally, as billfish678 wrote, if you start excluding friends based on their objectionable political views, pretty soon you’ll run out of friends. Or worse-- you’ll be surrounded by an echo chamber of sycophants who will never challenge your opinions, not even your wrong ones. You don’t learn in that environment-- you don’t learn that you’re wrong, or when you’re right, you don’t learn how to defend your arguments among a crowd of nodding heads.

I have been friends with people who have about every type of intolerance at one point or another, though usually their intolerance was not directed at me, so we still got along good. Sure, I thought they were idiots, but thats no reason not to be friends with them, since they are usually good people all the same.

The only one I ever had real friction with was a friend who was a born again christian, who kept trying to convert me… I had to issue an ultimatum on that one, but he toned it down, so we stayed friends.

I figure if I avoided everyone who had a stupid, ignorant view of some sort or another, I would be spending lots and lots of time alone in my house, and no doubt I have views that others would take as stupid and ignorant. A good friend is too important to lose over piddly shit like that, though, so I just ignore it as best I can, mock it when I can get away with it in a good natured way, and am glad to have the friends I do.

The main type of dealbreaker for me is when I have to jump through hoops just to see you. Like, the person that checks their horoscope to see if it’s all right to meet, or the stars, or doesn’t want to cross the bridge because it feels “unlucky”.

Beyond that, if they can keep their mouths shut about controversial stuff, so can I.

You don’t have to agree with someone to be friends with them. Lots of my friends are very conservative, and I’m cool with that. Some of them I discuss politics with, and some of them I don’t, it depends on their comfort level and, frankly, *my *opinion of how informed *their *opinions are. I’m happy to discuss the stimulus package if they’ve READ the stimulus package. I’m not going to be bothered arguing about what they heard about the stimulus package on the radio.

That said, I don’t confuse “politics” with “basic human decency”, and I’m not interested in being friends with people whose “political” views are thinly disguised bigotry.

There are a couple of friends I have ditched because of their casual racism and I have no qualms about it.

I can do without people who don’t have the imagination to put themselves in another person’s shoes.

O/T DianaG, but for the record, no one has read the stimulus package, least of all the members of Congress who debated & voted on it.