We all come in all sorts of different shapes and sizes. We all have different spiritual, moral, religious and political beliefs. We all have properties, quirks and features that make us different. That is an important part of developing a great friendship. It is good to have people who are both similar and different than you be a major part of your life. People who enjoy DMX and Kanye West can have friends who enjoy listening to Killswitch Engage and Mozart. There is no rule against that and just because you may not enjoy the same music doesn’t mean that you won’t have anything else in common. Democrats can be friends with Republicans and people who have an iPhone can have friends who love Android (or Blackberry).
A true friend is someone who doesn’t force you to violate your morals and principles. Each person has their own beliefs and perspective on each situation. Having a friend who understands that your viewpoints may be different is vital. SITUATION TIME!
Imagine that you are happily married and you are invited to a bachelor party at a strip club. Many men who are happily married would not want to go to a strip club for a multitude of reasons. Some people don’t enjoy the atmosphere and some people may not be subjected to any sort of temptation at all. The rest of the bachelor party, while they will most likely heave endless insults and crack all sorts of jokes, will understand and proceed to go without you. That doesn’t mean that you lost friends because you wouldn’t go to a strip club. All it means is that your group of friends has a different belief set than you do and in that instance, they didn’t align. You’ll probably all still get together and watch the game on Sunday while you root on your favorite team.
That’s all well and good but how does this help you make friends to begin with? Having confidence in your beliefs is a very attractive quality in a person. Someone who always sticks to their guns and logically supports their decision is always a good friend to have around even if you don’t agree with them. Look inside yourself and try to sort out what you believe and what you feel strongly about. When a political or social issue comes up, try to determine what side you fall on, if any. Sometimes, you really just won’t care about the issue at hand and that is just fine as well. A firm belief system is a must in order to feel confident about yourself and being confident in yourself will shine through when you strike up a conversation with a stranger.
The other side of this is that you can’t force your beliefs or principles onto other people. You have to understand everything that was mentioned above. Just because you are pro- or anti- something doesn’t mean that everyone in your circle of friends needs to be aligned with you. There are certain situations where you want people with similar beliefs around you but it doesn’t have to happen all the time. Being an understanding person is one of the most reliable ways to forge a friendship.
What do you guys think? How else can you show that you understand your friends? Do you guys think you need to have friends who only align with your beliefs? Sound off in the forums and the comments below.