We’re not crazy, just misunderstood

wrong

At what point do you sever ties with people who don’t agree with the causes you believe in?

This question has been on my mind lately, in the wake of the Buzzfeed article on anti-feminist women. My follow up blog post was a bit harsh, I admit: I wrote it “in the moment,” while the frustration was fresh, because that’s when I write best. The supportive comments that followed only fueled my fire, which is to be expected, since most of my followers only read this blog because they more or less agree with my hardheaded opinions ☺

But then, as we all know, sharing your opinions = opportunities for backlash. The responsive posts I’ve read on Facebook, and even personal messages I received have challenged me once again to remember that everyone walks a hard road that shapes their convictions. Most of us do not develop a belief system easily. Many of us have beliefs that were shaped by personal experiences; some traumatic, or life-changing in some other way. And because people own these experiences, it’s not fair to dismiss them.

Yet we all do it. Don’t lie. Or at least admit that you’ve wanted to, when someone’s response to a cause you hold dear made you feel misunderstood, and the more you tried to explain yourself, the more tangled up you got until you eventually threw up your hands and said, “Fuck it,” and poured a glass of wine.

Yes, that was my day yesterday.

But today is a new day. I’d like to think I have good practice listening to differing viewpoints, given I am the only conservative in a family full of liberals, but I can always get better. I have to, for the sake of world peace.

Misunderstanding can go both directions, and it’s sometimes unfathomable to me that two people can go through the same traumatic experience and resurface with radically different viewpoints of the world as a result.

If patience is like a muscle, I definitely need to exercise more.

How do you “exercise”?

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4 thoughts on “We’re not crazy, just misunderstood

  1. Shum'el says:

    Hey Beth,

    You’ve got to stand up for what you think is right. I’ll never do Twitter as 140 characters is no enough for me to express my thoughts and whilst concise can lead to people getting the wrong idea.

    As for blogging, debating, changing minds, my bro David, wrote this for the comments section of our blog :

    “It is our conviction that the best way to deal with antipodal views – even deplorable ones – is to challenge them, to argue, to criticise them or, in some cases, to treat them with contempt by ignoring them. This is how a free society functions. Furthermore, we believe that viewpoints can be changed. People may hold loony or repugnant views, but they may come around to another view through discussion and engagement with those who think differently. Silencing people and banning them closes the door forever on the chance to persuade them of their errors or to challenge their ideas. Even when someone’s view is such that it probably can never be changed, it is better that a crank idea or an outlandish philosophy is exposed to the light of day of reason, intelligent & erudite challenge”.

    Like

  2. lorellepage says:

    I can be tolerant of others opinions, even when they are strongly opposed to mine. What I can’t tolerate though, is when they don’t bother to understand my viewpoint but keep telling me that if I understood more about theirs, I would side with them.

    Like

    • Beth Caplin says:

      What grates my nerves is when I feel like I keep repeating myself…which always leads to nowhere, and then I hate myself for getting involved. No one has ever had their mind changed after a Facebook argument, a battle over Twitter, or after reading one blog post. I get that.

      It just hurts when the issue is something personal…say, what causes sexual assault. I can be very patient during disagreements about gay marriage, religion, even feminism to a degree, but then there are some issues that sting too much to let others poke at, and when they do, I can’t do anything else but walk away.

      Like

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