When I was younger, I use to have such anxiety over people disagreeing with me OR when I wanted to disagree with others. I think it started when I was in elementary school, as I disagreed with a group of girls who wanted me to join in with bullying another girl. When I refused and had the opinion that it wasn’t right, then I became a target as well. And when people disagreed with me on any opinion I had in passing, I still became a target for their harsh teasing and ridicule.
So, I got the idea that others disagreeing with me or I disagreeing with them meant a whole world of hurt, rejection, and attack (sometimes physically). It didn’t help that my mother raised me and my siblings under the worry of “What will the neighbors think!?”, which placed more importance on everyone else’s opinions rather than my own.
I broke free of this anxiety, at age twenty-one when something terrible happened to me and I nearly lost my life. I don’t feel comfortable in going into those personal details in a public space, but it was a defining moment when I couldn’t care less anymore what others thought of me.
The first time I shared my opinions was on a site called “Experience Project” many years ago. I was nervous that people wouldn’t agree with me, therefore would attack me for my views, but at that point I had nothing left to lose. Not only did I not get attacked, people seemed to love what I had posted and I gained a huge following! O_O
Every now and then there were one or two disagreeable people who would leave snarky comments to my posts, but I learned to stay calm and not take it too seriously. We all have opinions and ideas, it’s okay to agree to disagree! That was a lesson that I gained from that site and I will be forever grateful for that! Sadly, over the years the site was flooded with perverts, child molesters, and other horrible types. So, everyone who once enjoyed that site left and migrated to Facebook.
I don’t mind if people don’t agree with me or they have views that I don’t agree with… to a point. If a person can’t agree with me that burning down my house or the houses of others, to run people over with cars, to purposely hurt others for fun and entertainment is WRONG, then I can’t abide them and will slowly back away (because moving fast to get away from a crazy person may result in a chase!).
And I don’t care to be around negative people, if their opposite views are personally hurtful to me or the people I care for. If a person says to me, “I think homosexuality is unnatural and an abomination! Women should stay in their place and make me a sandwich! The only true religion is mine and everyone should believe in it, otherwise they’re stupid and going to hell! And by the way, I can’t stand other races but my own, so you should go back to whatever country your ancestors originated from!”, well, now… they have a right to believe that if they want to.
Although, being that I’m a woman of another race, bisexual, Pagan, and non bigoted, I would have to respond with, “What the f**k is wrong with you!? Why are you bothering to tell me this? Am I suppose to be impressed or agree with you? Thanks for sharing, but go away!” I don’t understand people who go out of their way to voice their opinions towards those that they clearly know have opposite opinions or lifestyles. I wonder if people like this realize that they’re trolls. >_>
On the other hand, I’m not one to fall apart or end a friendships if a person doesn’t agree with my philosophies or “lessons” I’ve learned in life. That’s silly! My lessons are for me and may not be true to anyone else. I offer them as a conversation starter or on the off-chance that it may help others in similar situations. I don’t believe that “my way” is the only way! I’m trying to figure out this wacky thing called “life” the same as anyone else.
Lastly, what I love in life is not required for my friends, family, or special someone (if i meet him or her someday) to love as well. For example, I’m alone in my love for Physics and the band U2. That’s just fine with me, as long as they don’t mind it if I don’t share thier love for Downtown Abbey or Justin Beiber.
I’m very good with the idea of “agree to disagree”, even when it comes to different political stances or different religious beliefs. I can coexist quite well. My attitude to those with differing political stances is, “It’s okay to have opinions… EVEN THOUGH YOU’RE F**KING WRONG!” Sorry… old Pewdiepie joke! Shame on me! LOLz! I’m kidding! My real response is more like, “Eh, meh…” ^o^
My point is, I’m not going to hate someone for having a different opinion and I’m not going to worry or feel bad if my opinion is different than most people. I’ve learned to be myself, to always be honest, to hold onto my views, and to not be pressured into changing them in order to “fit in”. If I do change my views, it’s because I found new data on my own, not that someone preached at me for hours. That usually has an opposite affect on me, when people push and insist.
What will the neighbors think? Who cares! Let them think whatever they want to. And I will think what I want to. ^_^
Thanks for reading!