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To wonder if politics affects your friendships?

(23 Posts)
malificent7 Wed 16-Nov-16 06:18:58

I am a liberal, my friend is an active conservative. ( campaigns for them)We have been friends a long time. Since Brexit, Tory win etc it has made me realise that there is a lot I dare not talk about for fear of a row .

I don't think we would fall out but some of her stances I vehemently disagree with. I do find it easier to talk to people with similar view points.

I feel quite sad about this as there are many things we do share but our different political beliefs means there is a lot we can't share. It is the elephant in the room.

Does anyone have similar issues with friends and/ or family? Please share!

SailingThroughTime Wed 16-Nov-16 06:24:39

Yes. We try to stay away from certain topics though. I struggle sometimes and have to work really hard to see the whole of her and not focus on her political opinions. For a while it was touch and go though smile

ThroughThickAndThin01 Wed 16-Nov-16 06:28:15

No, no issues here. We have a wide circle of friends and large extended family but politics rarely comes up except in a wider context. No one is overtly passionate. Have no idea why not, all university educated (so intelligent!), strong personalities etc

I was a leave voter, and amongst friends and family who discuss it there's an equal split between leave/remain. But no fall outs at all.

If I had a good friend with strong views I guess I'd try and gloss over political discussions.

80sWaistcoat Wed 16-Nov-16 06:37:25

My stepson is v right wing, I find some of his views v difficult, as he does mine. We try and avoid the subject, but it's difficult.

Fadingmemory Wed 16-Nov-16 06:46:30

Have one friend (of 45 Years standing) who took great exception to my post-Brexit remarks. We have both since apologised. I worked in politics and have friends from all shades of opinion. I can discuss almost any political issue with any of them but will not pursue issues as far as falling out - I have mellowed I suppose. The most difficult are the family members who belong to UKIP and others who believe that food bank users and people who are in the Daniel Blake type situation of being required to find work when certified unfit by medics are scroungers. With the latter I talk about everything else.

Fishcakey Wed 16-Nov-16 06:55:12

One of my oldest friends is very left, I am very right. We agreed at about 18 never to discuss politics. Occasionally FB has nearly caused a row but on the whole, I love her lots and I don't care who she votes for.

malificent7 Wed 16-Nov-16 06:58:12

My dad and I are also polar opposites politically but we love a good row/banter/discussion!

scaryclown Wed 16-Nov-16 07:01:19

Weirdly I think the politics peoplethink you have get in the way more than the politics you do have. Many people think immediately I'm conservative, and i often find that if i am saying something very left, a leftie who has made the 'obviously a tory' observation will aggressively argue against me, say I'm veing ridiculous, and then as it starts to sink in i am saying something they would agree with then berate me for 'shifting my view' when I've done nothing of the sort. The opposite has happened to me too, as I am quite 'performance' ist in the way i support unions and someone who assumed i was anti business definitely thought the leftie was view shifying to 'win' an argumeny that we werent even having!

my fave was when a Union person asked me my reasons for being anti -brexit and I gave a pro-union involvement at board level speech and you could see him get ready to butt in with how naive i was being..mind you he was also a bit 'why shpuld we pay for foreigners' as well so i did the same to him! The worst shock though when i was younger was finding out how many metalheads/geek types are really tory!

AdrienneVole Wed 16-Nov-16 07:03:33

Not until recently when I deleted a few friends/acquaintances from Facebook for downright offensive comments following the referendum result.

sterlingcooper Wed 16-Nov-16 07:07:02

My 3 very close friends have very similar politics to me. I don't know if that's by accident or design, probably a bit of both.

DP is fiscally much more right wing than me, and this caused some big arguments early on in our relationship. The saving grace is that ideologically (on issues like equal rights, immigration, abortion, marriage for all etc) he is totally left wing. I'm really not sure our relationship would have survived if he had had opposite stances to me on those issues as they are so emotionally important to me. As it is, we just avoid talking about taxes and benefits.

TrojanWhore Wed 16-Nov-16 07:12:58

Who turns any political discussions into a row? Is it you?

Do yo have any other friends who have differing views to you?

birdsdestiny Wed 16-Nov-16 07:17:21

Me and my dad love a good row about politics. My best friend and I are both left ish, however for the first time we disagree strongly about politics. She is a corbyn supporter, i am curious with what is hapoening to the Labour Party. We have stopped talking about it grin

user1471439240 Wed 16-Nov-16 07:17:57

It's easy to fall into a self affirmating idealistic echo chamber.
Perspective is crucial.
The world would shine less if we all had the same thoughts.

birdsdestiny Wed 16-Nov-16 07:18:17

Furious I mean!

Scribblegirl Wed 16-Nov-16 07:19:42

I'm a bit unusual in that I did a political science degree and the majority of my friends ten years on are still my course friends from uni. No-one has any really strong right wing views but we all have views that range on the scale from traditional small C conservative to hippy tree hugging lefty grin

We do talk about politics (many work in it now) a lot, but I think because we met debating things, it doesn't really pose a problem for us. We're all quite pragmatic and whilst we have our views, we're all very aware that things aren't nearly as black and white as they often seem.

The problem comes when I forget that other friends/acquaintances don't feel the same way and then I inadvertently start a really controversial discussion blush

megletthesecond Wed 16-Nov-16 07:22:29

Yes. I stepped well back from a friend who expressed hard right views once.

oklumberjack Wed 16-Nov-16 07:23:41


I tend to vote Liberal. I have a good friend who is actually a Tory MP - when we were younger we used to argue but now respect each other and we don't get too deep into arguments (maybe a busmans holiday for him?).

However, another good friend has majorly cooled off with me since this summer when I told her I didn't like Jeremy Corbyn. She went off like a rocket at me, saying that I had no idea what life was like in the real world and how could I possibly not like him when all he wanted was to help everyone hmm. I said the whole "let's agree to disagree" thing but she's barely spoken to me since. 10 yrs we've been friends.

Ragwort Wed 16-Nov-16 07:24:37

Yes - very few of my friends and family (including DH) share my left wing views, I live in a very right wing area not by choice so I rarely even meet people who I agree with - but I manage to have a wide circle of friends and acquaintances and just tend to avoid discussing certain subjects.

I wish I did know more people who shared my views - that's why I like Mumsnet so much grin.

Jabuticaba Wed 16-Nov-16 07:43:14

I don't talk about politics with anyone but I know several of my friends vote Tory, I know at least three friends in the USA who voted for the orange trumpet. I live in brazil where it's never a good idea to talk politics as it can get very heated, many people I know think Dilma's impeachment was a coup d'etat. I think the whole sorry lot of them are corrupt and they all need to go, regardless if they're left, right, fascist or socialist. I don't just mean in Brazil either grin

RoseGoldHippie Wed 16-Nov-16 08:09:58

Me and my DP have completly opposite political views. This is not helped by the fact I get obsessed with watching all the debates and often take the day after the vote off work so I can stay up and watch it, so the subject is always around and can't really be avoided. However this year with Brexit, again different views etc, it made me realise just how much I love him! He just would not take the bait when I was looking for a conversation row about it and now we can actually have a conversation about it without screaming at each other!

Good luck with your friend OP, just try to avoid the discussion, or if you must have it, just make sure you end it in a positive way like "well I know we will never agree on this so let's just go get a coffee ☕️ "

Welshwabbit Wed 16-Nov-16 08:15:53

My husband is a Tory member. I am a Labour member, and have campaigned in elections. He is very much on the left of the Tories, though, and I am centre left (not a Corbyn fan) so we probably have more in common with each other than with our parties and socially (rather than economically) we are on the same page. We also agree to a large extent on things that are important for us as a family, such as state education, and we are both Remainers.

I have friends who range from ultra libertarian to Corbynistas and I discuss politics with all of them. My own views have mellowed over the years and I see no reason to fall out with or dismiss someone purely because of their politics. If they also hold views I really don't like, that's different, but it doesn't necessarily follow from their political position.

TheNaze73 Wed 16-Nov-16 08:23:58

I think it's good to have a range of views. I'm to the left of the Conservative party & have friends to the right (not UKIP right thankfully) & friends to the left too.
Ultimately it's something we'll never agree on but, that's half the fun. I did know a few liberal democrats but, they're not so vocal about things these days.

Bluebolt Wed 16-Nov-16 08:24:49

The area I am from is somewhere people have moved from than moved to so many hold the same views. Some of my view have changed since I moved away. I have shifted from left to middle left. It was never a problem unless a Tory government which sends my family and old friends back to local branch politics. I am usually good at gauging who wants to discuss and who wants a replying nodding dog.

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