In an Active Adult Community, we come together from all over the country and from sometimes very different backgrounds, but we have so much in common! Our ages, stage of life, retirement, wanting and needing to be active, new passions, and enjoying life!
But in social settings, some people can really put a damper on things by spouting out their strong opinions on maters of politics and/or religion that is more divisive than they know.
Never Argue Over Politics Or Religion. It’s too controversial.
We have friends we really like, but don’t share their opinions about politics nor religion. We have other friends who do not go there and we commented to them about that is a good thing we enjoy about them. They replied that everyone has their opinions. It is best not to get defense about opinions and you most certainly are not going to change anyone’s mind about those subjects by arguing with them.
I just wish people would realize that when socializing, many people do not appreciate their strong opinions being spewed out. It just dirties the atmosphere and accomplishes nothing.
There are times and places for those discussions about those important subject of politics and religions, but a social setting is not the place.
I have seen some pretty awful examples of people saying hateful things, but I will keep those to myself. I am sure you have too.
As far as our retirement community, we are not one religion nor one political party. When either one is dominant in a community, people feel like they can say whatever they want, usually at the expense of those who are not in their group, several who may be sitting at their table.
I have heard of the idea that when considering the factors about which retirement community to relocate to, that it may be prudent to consider the local area’s dominant religion and/or politics. If you do not fit it with the majority, then you will be freely put upon because you do not enjoy their majority views. When I heard those concerns, at first I though that maybe this should not be a concern, because every community has quite a variety of people of every background, coming from all over the country, even world. But now I see that some people think that being of the majority group gives them the right to condemn those who don’t think like they do. They are pretty self righteous about it.
The 63 posts I have written on this blog have been positive about the benefits of living in an Active Adult Community. This one brings up some negatives but it’s not about Retirement Communities per se. People are people. It’s just that we do a lot of socializing here and that gives more opportunity for these issue to come up.
So, What to Do?
You can’t change other people, you can only change yourself. You can change your own reaction, response and behavior.
I like the role model of our friends who don’t discuss religion or politics in social settings. Keep yourself from being sucked in to an argument. While you cannot control others, you can censor yourself. Allow a person to vent a personal frustration without evaluating their politics.
Stay out of unwanted discussions by steering the conversation away to other topics.Try to bring up a topic you know the other person has an interest in and maybe wants to discuss more.
When in a discussion you can’t avoid, try to see the other person’s side. Ask them questions to find out the reasons they feel that way.
Remember everyone has their opinions. Opposing viewpoints are not a personal attack on you. Be respectful of others and mindful that others have their own opinion. Yours is not the only one.
If that fails , ignore the topic and do not add to the discussion. I did this at an after dinner discussion and a guy said “you are the only smart one, you are not saying anything”. Very proud of that.
“Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world. Today I am wise, so I am changing myself.”