I used to profoundly respect anyone’s opinion. It’s not that I’m some kind of awful curmudgeon now. More that I refuse to freely accept anyone’s subjectivities about the world, or myself, until I’ve listened with my empathically critical ear to validate their true intentions. If the argument is reasonable enough, I’ll buy it. If not, I move on with my life. Why obsess over negative thoughts? Why not forget and carry on? That’s easy, right?
I have friends on many points of the political spectrum.
One friend recently got into my face about my political opinions, which is fine, except that he was acting irrationally. When you argue, you must explain yourself and listen to others. If you can’t do both, you lose. When he didn’t listen to my arguments, instead making assumptions, I had some fun. I turned everything on its head, concluding the conversation with: “you realize I was [messing] with you this entire time, right?”
We’re still friends. We just don’t talk politics.
Even people you respect deeply have their faults. We all do! It’s a rather obvious statement, however, it took me years to fully register that. My friend there would have influenced my thoughts toward politics years back, but now, I just forget it. It’s not worth the time for either one of us to change our minds, and besides, we have actual things in common that are worth talking about. Why ruin a good thing?
Is it because we want to remember every transgression?
Are the flaws of a person more important than their made-up perfections? Why do we see a person’s grit and assume they are terrible? Is it because we’re taught to be polite to a fault? If so, there’s an interesting backlash now, where people will throw stones from their glass houses at anyone with a differing opinion. That’s an insecurity. If you have the right to an opinion, well, so do they. If you don’t like it, don’t worry about them.
It’s OK to block people online and mute them in person.
I enjoy interacting with people that have differing viewpoints from my own. I can strengthen my own arguments, learn, and grow. If it’s too out there, I don’t have to care. I can willingly tune out of their worldview, just as it’s the same for them, or for you. If it’s just too out there, I simply move on with my day. I have too much to worry about that I actually care about to be concerned with everything.
Maybe that’s how I forget people’s transgressions now.
I just don’t have the time to concern myself with everything. There are too many things I want to do with my time that I could enjoy to concern myself with things that didn’t impress me. Maybe that’ll happen later? I can always give things a second chance. Until then, I’ll forget that negativity by filling it with potential positivity.
Or, I’ll thrash my thoughts around enough to let them settle.
Quotes:  Me.
Inspirations: The Anonymous mask, mainly.