When Friends’ Viewpoints Upset You

Advice for reminding them you care
September 14, 2020 Updated: September 16, 2020

Dear June,

I find myself upset and frightened by friends who view the world and the election in an opposite way to me. What are some polite words to say that will deflect arguments, remind us that we care about each other, and encourage each other to accept our differing viewpoints?

Judy Crawford

Dear Judy,

I think it is one of the important tasks of our time to learn how to love and respect the goodness and humanity of those close to us, even when we hold opposing views!

Before words to say, I would actually first suggest looking at the fright aroused by your friends’ ideas.  There are indeed now popular and truly terrifying ideas masquerading under the guise of kindness and compassion and bettering society. So while it’s natural to be shocked by these ideas, we should come to a place where they don’t strike fear in our hearts, because then we are limiting their power.

These thoughts don’t have a rational basis, and once you can see this, they no longer have power over your thinking—but it’s still shocking that those we love believe them! It may be of help to read our series “How the Specter of Communism Is Ruling Our World.” This series explains how many of today’s popular ideas, although they appear to come from different sectors in society, actually stem from the same dark origin.

Second, I would consider human nature. As I understand it, we all have the potential for both good and evil—love and fear—and true evil also exploits the goodness in our hearts for its purposes. So many people who mean very well, and sincerely want to see the world a better place, end up believing the wrong thing.

Polite words that reflect this line of thinking might be, “Dear [friend’s name], I know that you really care, and you know I respectfully disagree with your ideas, but I really love and appreciate your passion to improve this world.”

I suggest practicing these words, or a version of them, until they feel natural to you.

Sincerely,

June

Do you have a family or relationship question for our advice columnist, Dear June? Send it to DearJune@EpochTimes.com or Attn: Dear June, The Epoch Times, 229 W. 28th St., Floor 7, New York, NY 10001.

June Kellum is a married mother of two and longtime Epoch Times journalist covering family, relationships, and health topics.