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Hot Button Issues

For about a year now, I’ve been trying to find my way back to an acquaintance with whom I have political disagreements. I’ve known her for more than a decade and our leanings were never an issue before the 2016 presidential election. We had found a way to peacefully coexist. But all that got ruptured. And now, I don’t know how to break the ice. Suggestions?

Photo by Adam Hillman



10 comments for “Hot Button Issues”

  1. Sabine says:

    Dear Wendy, I have two long-time friends with whom I strongly disagree, politically (and they with me, of course). One of them, I simply let “fade out” in the past year, even recently unfriending her on FB in a purge of dozens of “friends” who…aren’t (anymore). What I ultimately learned in the course of this friendship is that–while we were reasonably close in college plus a couple decades–her values as a human being (beyond her political persuasions) just no longer synch with mine…and perhaps they never did, had I paid closer attention along the way. So I inwardly sent her on her way with a sincere prayer of gratitude for the friendship we shared, and well-wishes for her and her family; but in my view, and I suspect hers, too, attempting to remain friends had become stressful and frustrating, each of us repeatedly (although mostly unwittingly) pushing the other’s buttons. My other friend, however, whom I also befriended in college, remains among my closest friends: we couldn’t be further apart, politically, so we long since agreed to disagree, and now we simply avoid talking politics…thankfully, we have such affection for one another and so much other common ground, that we have plenty other topics and occasions to connect on. In this case, I learned that we do actually have similar motivations…and we’ve managed to respect (or at least tolerate and distance ourselves from) each other’s disparate beliefs re: how those motivations and values are best realized, politically. As always, it take two. Good luck!

  2. Amy says:

    Hi Wendy, I would invite her out for lunch and just be honest and straightforward, acknowledging your differences, but that you miss her and still want her in your life. Then just agree not to get into those hot button discussions. That being said, also be prepared for her not to accept this invitation and be willing to let the relationship go if need be. Sometimes politics and religion are just too great of a divider, unfortunately.

  3. Petra says:

    I don’t know how I’d handle something like that either. I wish I had some advice for you or a suggestion, but I don’t. Best of luck, though.

    • wendy says:

      This time of year during the Jewish High Holidays, I’ve really tried to get it together, because it’s the season of spiritual repair and renewal. But I haven’t so far. Clock’s ticking. I have till Tuesday at sunset.

  4. Gigi says:

    I totally agree with Sabine and that is how I too have handled it. However I will discuss politics with anyone anyplace just to hear their viewpoint.

    It’s awesome to give it a shot, I hope she’s truly a good friend and you all can be friends again. Good luck!

  5. Lisa Miller says:

    I had a good friend for 16 years at the time of the election. He is a Republican, I am a Democrat. So we agreed to disagree until the election. We met once after the election and I tried to find out why he truly supported Trump because I didn’t think he had the same values as Trump did. I thought it went well until toward the end. He said I was accusing him of being homophobic. Maybe I was, I don’t know. Anyway, since then I reached out multiple times but he didn’t respond. Even texted his wife who said she’d try. Again no response. I sent him birthday card saying it was my last attempt. If I didn’t hear from him, I’d let him go. Never heard anything. Sometimes it’s just broken it’s sad to say. So I have no answers.

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