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A Conflict of Perspective

1

December 11, 2012 by Vicki

In this post, I will further explore the conflicts caused by different perspective. I have a friend who has a very different perspective from my own. She holds a very traditional, religious, perspective while I focus on issues and concerns that threaten society, not morality. I try to remain aware that different people have different perspectives and have the right to those perspectives. I am, however, extremely sensitive to discussions about abuse of children or animals, the subjugation of women, and threats to personal freedoms. My friend, on the other hand, does not seem to be aware that her words have meaning beyond just “oh, this is my opinion.” She has not learned that when she states an opinion, she enters into a larger scale conversation. When her opinions touch on my sensitive topics, we tend to have explosions.

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I do not believe that my friend is cruel or violent. I believe that she tries to be the very best human being that she can be. She is one of the most loving people I know. Our different perspectives, however, make it extremely difficult to have conversations and understand one another.

I know that these same problems can develop between blood relatives, or on a larger scale, between nations. My problem is how do I breach the gap between her perspective and mine so that we can continue our friendship in understanding and trust? How does a person deal with a perspective of another, which they find offensive. They don’t find the person offensive, just the person’s perspective. To take this out of the personal, for a moment, how does a liberal person deal with a racist, but beloved, relation? How does a democratic nation handle relations with a friendly dictator state? Or, how does a dictator state handle a friendly democratic nation? What means can be used to successfully navigate these opposing perspectives to ensure a prosperous relationship?

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My friend and I did not talk for an extended period of time. We could not find a way to communicate through or around our differing viewpoints, and so lost the ability to continue our friendship. We have reconnected, and I do not wish to lose this friendship again. I believe that we are good for each other. I do not know, however, how to proceed. Is silence the answer? Do I simply not converse with my friend on issues I know we differ on? What constraints does this place upon our friendship? Could it even be called a “friendship” with such restrictions? I realize that I have asked more questions then I have answered, but I still seek for the means of resolving this issue. How have you handled close relationships that had opposing perspectives? What answers have you found through trial and error to the questions that I have posed?

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One thought on “A Conflict of Perspective

  1. RM Luffman says:

    It comes down to how close a friendship you wish to have with this person.

    I happen to be a very passionate, very opinionated person, well spoken individual. There are times that I can add loud and obnoxious to that as well. There are dear friends of mine with whome I will get into heated discussions about differing opinions on any particular topic. There are people with whom I am rather close, and whom I can trust not to get bent out of shape simply because we disagree on points either great or large.

    There are others of my circle of friends with whom I know better than to show even the mere hint of a differnt opinion. With some because they are intolerant of any viewpoint that is not their own, and with others because they are simply not equipped to understand an opinion not their own.

    The intolerant friends I keep because there are other things which are strong enough to keep us glued together, the clueless ones I keep because you don’t have to see eye to eye with someone to be friends with them. You stay friends, in these cases, because of what you share in common.

    Case and point; My sister and I are great friends. We talk on the phone for great lengths of time several times a week. We also hold some very different outlooks on life and hold very strong and conflicting opinions on certain topics. We know to simply divert the conversation when we start butting heads on things that do not matter to the fabric of our ‘friendship’. Sure, I’d still love her even if I didn’t like her, she’s my sister. But the truth of the matter is, she is one of my closest friends and confidants.

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Vicki

Hi, I'm the blogger behind Boudicabooks. Tour around the site and hop into the discussions. This site discusses life as a woman. The site also hosts a Book Club that investigates the lives of women through novels by women, about women, and for women.
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