I often hear people wishing that we could all get along. It seems to be the ideal world, people finally seeing eye to eye and letting differences go. But it really isn’t as simple as it seems.
You see we are all individuals with our own beliefs. And underlying those beliefs are specific life events and moments that mark each and every one of us.
For example, people like to complain about things and maybe you just don’t agree. Have you ever thought about why this person has such a strong opinion on what they are talking about? If this person is talking about how much they hate cats, have you ever thought that maybe they aren’t just a huge hater. But possibly they had a bad experience with one?
Maybe as a child they had a cat and it never gave them the amount of love they would have wanted from a childhood pet. So they hold this grudge towards all cats and it transmitted itself into their adulthood. This is a simple disagreement but it applies to other ones too. Ones that cause us to dislike others or at least want to stay away from them.
And this applies to you too. What are you really passionate about? Maybe it’s your stance on free education? Or quite possibly you take your job very seriously while others don’t? Maybe someone had a huge aversion to swimming and always mentions how dangerous it is. Or you might have a bone to pick with your cousin whom everyone seems to like but you despise. And you like to rant about it.
The list could go on but the point is everyone at one point (some much more than others) becomes so bothered by things that happen to them, that they voice their opinion of it in a general way. And each and every person has a life event to influence each opinion of theirs.
And people don’t like to share personal experiences that might make them vulnerable in order to explain their stance.
This is why it’s so hard for people to get along. Everyone holds on ever so tightly to their motives for feeling a certain way and in the end they end up looking like a person who is angry or hardheaded. They hold on so tight to their personal experiences because they are afraid of looking foolish. Because people choose pride over progression.
The thing is that in our western society, talking about these things is considered oversharing. We do feel okay walking up to a stranger at a party to explain that we don’t like feminists but we don’t mention how your junior year of highschool you were smitten with a girl that was disappointed to find out how misogynistic you are. So there is no chance of anyone convincing you to reconsider your stance since it’s based on a bad experience because they lack that knowledge about you.
You see, talking about childhood traumas, rejections or personal happenings is reserved for extremely close relationships. And some people don’t even do that. Some people don’t tell their boyfriend or girlfriend anything personal. Some people don’t like opening up to those they really should open up to. So how can we ever expect strangers to do that with one another?
If people weren’t so afraid of explaining themselves fully, of delving deeper and truly showing who they are when voicing their opinions, it is very possible that we could show sympathy to each other. We could even tell that cat hater “Hey, I understand that you had a bad time with a cat. But maybe you could try a cuddly nice one before labeling all cats as bad.”
Because just because you don’t agree with someone doesn’t make them wrong per say. But if we were more open to talking about our personal grudges, maybe we could show each other that it isn’t so hard to get along in the first place.
Who knows? We might even get closer if people were willing to loosen their grip just a little and open up.
-The Broke Artist