Just because I'm friendly with someone, doesn't mean I support what they believe. This was one of my biggest challenges having grown up in a historically intolerant part of the country. Many of my old friends are racist and bigoted, mainly because they haven't had a chance to explore different cultures or backgrounds. Unfortunately, after I moved to the east coast, nearly every new friend I met was shocked to find that my Facebook page was full of ”those kinds of people.” As if somehow associating with them is a reflection of who I am as a person.

But, I refuse to completely disassociate with my old friends just because of how they think. Their views have nothing to do with me, and our friendship is based on many other things we share in common. I just wish people would stop assigning their worst qualities to me and learn to see us as different people.
4mo ago
5 Comments
Brother
Always looking out
@WillOverall I want to agree with you, but it’s tough not to judge someone’s character based on who they associate with. We choose who we surround ourselves with. And out of the 7 billion people in this world, the fact that you‘ve chosen to surround yourself with bigoted people could be interpreted as a reflection of your own character, whether accurate or not.
4mo ago

BlueFish
Explorer
@Brother I think it’s unfair to judge someone based on who they’re friends with, especially if they go way back. When we’re kids, we don’t even know what bigoted means, and it’s difficult to just cut people off after we’ve had them in our lives for so long.
4mo ago

jenni0220
I'm new here
@WillOverall I have this same problem myself. It’s a tough line to walk. When you grow up somewhere like the south, you don’t really know anyone who isn’t bigoted. I try to look at it this way. I can be friends with people who have beliefs that differ from mine and respect their right to that opinion—until that opinion disrespects another person’s existence. They can say that certain things are wrong and I can disagree. But when they say certain people don’t deserve to be alive or have basic human rights, that’s not something we can ‘agree to disagree’ over. When someone says something like that, I can’t be around them anymore.
When you’re growing up, you don’t really understand any of this and you don’t have much of a choice. But once you grow up, you realize that it’s a big deal. Part of growing up is making the hard choices of leaving some people who no longer fit in your life behind. You have to make a personal decision as to what you’ll tolerate and what you won’t. And once you’re all grown up and you’ve made your decision, people are going to judge you by that. Now more than ever, they’re going to judge you by that. So make sure you’ve made the decision that you think is right, one you can stick by, and then you won’t feel bad about people judging you by it. As long as you do what’s right for you and those around you, other people’s thoughts don’t matter. Someone’s always going to be offended by something.
4mo ago

HelloGeronimo
I'm new here
@jenni0220 I’ve been reading everyone’s posts for a while now and I’ve never shared anything, but I felt compelled to comment on this. What you wrote is so true. From the receiving end of it, watching someone close to you grow apart and leave you behind hurts like hell. I’ve had it happen, and it was a big wake up call for me. It made me really think twice about who I was spending my time with and the kinds of ideas they were filling my head with.

Now it’s something I pay very close attention to. When I was young, I didn’t see it, but now I know that the people around me definitely had an impact on how I was thinking, and they made me a worse person to be around. I don’t want to get sucked into dark places along with anyone anymore.
4mo ago

wildflower1
I'm new here
@Brother I can understand people judging you for the comments on your Facebook even if you didn’t write them. Why would you leave them on your page?
3mo ago

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