The election is here and with the barrage of opinions flying on my personal social media profiles, news media, and on the play ground, I can’t help but think about my own emotions when listening to these opinions. It has also occurred to me that I have become friends with many people and I created those friendships without ever knowing their opinions on some topics. Why, you ask is this something to write about? Well, I believe that friendships should run beyond our own beliefs and, when we move often, we need our military family. There are just some topics so sensitive that a potential friend could be offend if you bring up a topic in your first conversation and it could be the end of the friendship before it even has a chance. With that said, stay away from these topics until you are confident your friendship will survive in the most heated conversation.
1. POLITICS! Keep your political opinion to yourself (unless, you know the person you are talking to agrees with you.). It just shouldn’t matter.
2. RELIGION! Neither should this… PERIOD!
3. Social beliefs like abortion and gay marriage. These sorts of topics are so sensitive and most people have very strong feelings and are offended easily by opposing opinions. Don’t bring them up until long into the friendship! In fact, it really is ok if you never know your friends position.
4. Discipline of other people’s children. Don’t tell the mom you just met on the playground that she should or shouldn’t discipline her child in what ever fashion you witnessed. It’s rude and most parents will feel put off and offend. Keep it to yourself if you would do it differently.
5. Rank! We are spouses! We are not in the military! It doesn’t matter what our husband/wife does or what their rank it. Base your friendship on how well you connect with someone. Do you have similar interest? Are your kids the same ages and play well together? And so on…. Leave the military out of the equation!
6. Money. It is just not yours or anyone else’s business how much money someone has or how they spend it. The military has regulations to take care of money problems, so leave it to them. Never judge someone when they need help. You have no idea why they need it and it isn’t for you to judge that or even talk about with other people.
7. Stay at home vs. working parents. We all make decisions based on what is best for our families. Don’t go there, because women especially, get very offended and defensive when talking about their decisions.
There you have it! Stay away from them. Keep introductory conversations to topics like kid stuff, how crazy your last PCS was, things to do in the area or where to go to get a good haircut. Those topics are sure to lead to what your interests are and you may end up with a BFF that has completely opposite view points. You might even end up loving them despite it!