I was thinking today of something…
Right after Christmas of last year, I shared a blog post about some thoughts regarding going no contact with narcissistic parents. I said in my experience, I was glad I didn’t do it. My father had some health problems which meant I spent a great deal of time with my parents, & things had improved a lot during that time in our relationship. In the post, I encouraged others to consider my story if they are thinking of going no contact, not to change their minds, but just to give them another topic to consider. (there was more to it but that’s the basics anyway). A well known blogger followed me at the time & we were also facebook friends. She read my post & apparently read a lot into it that I didn’t put in the post. She & another of my followers got into a rather heated disagreement when I was away from the computer, & it was done by the time I saw it. Not that I could’ve done anything anyway- I can’t stop people from posting in my blog comments sections. Anyway shortly after, the other blogger unfollowed my blog, removed my book recommendation from her site & blocked me on facebook.
At first this hurt, I won’t lie. I was stunned plus wondering what did I do to warrant this behavior from her? It was another follower she got into a disagreement over, not me! I wasn’t even there! Quickly though, I realized that she has some pretty narcissistic tendencies (I’d seen a few glimpses of them before but had brushed them off as me being oversensitive), one of which was she didn’t handle people disagreeing with her well. This was a touchy topic with her as she believes everyone should be no contact with every narcissist, period.
I also realized that many people are this way. They are of the “if you’re not for me, you’re against me” mentality. Oddly, it seems very common today. Not a lot of people can agree to disagree. Just look at politics. Many people (both liberal & conservative alike) act as if you’re a fool for your views if you don’t agree with theirs.
People who respect you enough to allow you to have your own opinion are a gem. Truly! I have friends who share different views on all kinds of things or are of different religious beliefs, & you know what? It’s fine! We don’t try to push our views on each other. If we have questions about whatever the other person believes, we ask respectfully. And you know something? Those friendships have lasted much longer than the ones with people who are always trying to change your mind or belittle you for disagreeing with them.
Those friendships are also deeper, more comfortable as well, because each of us knows that the other person won’t judge us.
Another bonus is knowing people who are different than you expands your horizons. For example, I have a friend who was a part of the Pagan religion for a long time. She taught me quite a bit about herbal remedies. This is interesting information to me! Not to mention helpful. I’ll run for something herbal before I’ll run for the pharmacy if I need healing since usually herbal works as well or better, & with less potential side effects). If it wasn’t for her, I don’t know if I would’ve even been interested in herbal remedies.
How do you fit into this? Are you able to disagree respectfully with others or do you believe your friends must agree with you fully? If you only surround yourself with those who believe & think as you do, I encourage you today to expand your horizons. Get to know people of different religions, races or cultures. It’ll bless you as well as them.