Updated: Jun 20, 2022
When we label another person, we drastically reduce the possibility of ever having a decent relationship with him or her. Unfortunately, labeling others is increasingly common:
—If you have a single opinion more conservative than me, you are a red, ignorant, bigoted, paranoid hotheard.
—If you have a single opinion more liberal than me, you are a weird communist, looney tune, socialist, hippy freak.
All of these statements are absurd. Just because I am aware of one opinion out of thousands that you hold, I don’t know much about you.
The people with whom I actually maintain strong relationships hold a complicated set of opinions and beliefs. Some are socially liberal and fiscally conservative. Others are mainly libertarian, except when it comes to a couple of core issues. The better I know them, the easier it is for me to understand—and appreciate—their story..
When we fall into the trap of thinking that everyone who disagrees with us is dangerous/dumb/irrational, we ourselves start acting stupidly. A far better strategy is to talk, listen and learn. You have common ground with the vast majority of people on this planet, so please take the time to find it.