How to Deal with Someone Disrespecting You and Your Opinions

October 2, 2020

Dear Achona,

How do I respectfully deal with someone who doesn’t respectfully deal with my own opinions by yelling at me, not letting me speak, etc.?

Dear Anonymous,

In this day and age, there seems to be such a strong divide in opinions — both personal and political. This divide has caused friendships to fall apart and people to strongly dislike each other as a result of the yelling, stubborn, and controlling nature that, unfortunately, comes with a difference in opinions. However, this issue can be solved. First, I think you need to have a civil, friendly conversation with said person who is being disrespectful and disregarding your opinions. Explain to them that by yelling at you, it only further feeds into this divide and could result in losing your friendship, for example. However, if after doing so they continue said actions, they obviously do not respect you and he or she is causing you sadness and anger. As a result, try and distance yourself from that person and avoid intense conversations with them as it will only result in the same disrespect you have been enduring. However, also remember that you also may need to be more understanding and respectful when discussing your opinions because, at times, conversations can become so “heated,” for lack of a better word, that we polarize ourselves from others with different views and say negative things about opposing groups. If you need some “inspo,” Look to the relationship between Former Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Antonin Scalia as an example of a healthy, respectful friendship between two people with very different views.

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