Friday, March 09, 2012

???

Today on Facebook somebody I actually like quite a bit called me narrow-minded. I was surprised by this comment. There are many things a person could call me that wouldn't bother me, but narrow-mindedness is not one of them. I take pride in the fact that I try very hard to be an open-minded person. Do I always succeed? No, but I really do try to see all sides of an issue, and I consider myself to be pretty open-minded, so her comment really bothered me.

On the flip side, her comment was a reaction to a negative comment I made about Sarah Palin, so I'm not sure how much credence I should give it. After all, I don't see how my thinking that Sarah Palin wouldn't have made a good vice-president (or, help us all, a good president) makes me narrow-minded. I fully support her right to disagree with me about Sarah Palin, but how does that make me narrow-minded?

Any thoughts?

5 comments:

Jonathan Gardener said...

Sorry to hear that. I think that you are a wonderfully open-minded person; just look at your last post! Labels like "narrow-minded" don't describe people very well, only actions. And it's hard even to judge actions! You know who you are, and who you can become, as a child of God. You also know who she is, and while her comment may have been less than Christlike, she also may know deep down the comment isn't entirely true. Maybe she was somehow stung by your comment and then sunk below her normal standards? I honestly can't say. But I always follow the rules my mom gave me: apologize even if it was completely unintentional. And of course, to pray to know what to do. I hope you can find a way!

Thinker said...

I think that sometimes we want people, especially our friends,to share our views and opinions. We may, unconciously, see that agreement or similarity of views and beliefs as being the core of our friendship. If we suddenly find things we don't agree on, we may wonder if we have much in common and question our friendship.

I also think that we want and need validation. We may confuse agreeing with someone or "siding" with someone as validation. Validation really is hearing, truly hearing, someone and acknowledging/respecting their feelings, beliefs,and thoughts. We validate people by hearing them and seeking to understand their thoughts and feelings. Sometimes we feel threatened if someone doesn't agree with us because we see them as invalidating or disrespecting our opinions and therefore ourselves. "What you think and feel doesn't matter or is wrong" is what we hear, whether that is what was said or felt or not. Often that feeling is from within. The stronger we feel about something, the more we want someone to agree with us and thereby validate us by agreeing with us. If they respectfully challenge us or don't agree with us, we often label them with the fault and the accuse them of narrow-mindedness, bigotry, being rigid, never listening etc. We usually are retalitory when we feel threatened; and that perceived threat doesn't have to be real.

Hopefully you can ask your friend about the "why" of her reaction (what emotions triggered it/what she felt instead of what political view she is defending) and understand what motivated her to lash out a bit.

Gay LDS Actor said...

Thanks, Jonathan. I actually like this person a lot. Perhaps my comment just rubbed her the wrong way. I'm over it.

Thanks for your thoughts, Thinker. I appreciate them.

Alyssa said...

I must admit I have a hard time being open-minded about people who are not open-minded. A bit of an endless circle, really.

Like it or not, we all use discernment in our opinions and dealings. We just don't always agree. :) And what is Facebook for but to express our thoughts and opinions?

Gay LDS Actor said...

I agree, Alyssa. Facebook should be a place where we can express our thoughts and opinions. But, of course, that always comes with the risk that people who don't see eye-to-eye with us on things will express their opinions, and not everyone always does that in a constructive, productive way. I do enjoy reading all viewpoints, though. I think it helps keep me more open-minded.