Quick Hit: Finding the Lines

I’m VERY grateful to ALL of you for chiming in on Wednesday’s post, and I’m hoping that the conversation continues; it’s helping me to think about this issue in important ways.

I’m circling around where my edges are; what I can and cannot abide in someone I call a friend.  I haven’t been able to make any firm assertions yet, but I’m getting there.

As I ponder this, I’m going to put the question to you: what attitudes, values, or behaviors do you require in someone you call a friend?  What kinds of things are you willing to “agree to disagree” about for the sake of a relationship?  What are your “deal breakers,” and what are you willing to overlook?



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10 responses to “Quick Hit: Finding the Lines

  1. Improbable Joe

    I loves your questions… they force me to focus in on what’s most important.

    Politically? My big deal breaker is when you advocate, support those who advocate, or dismiss the criticism towards those who advocate policies that will harm the weak, innocent, and defenseless among us. Or, if you think a political “value” should be upheld knowing that implementing it will cause injury to people. If you think there’s a class of people who deserve to live in poverty even if they are working as hard as they can, just because they didn’t go to college or whatever other justification you can come up with, you’re an evil person and I want to punch you in your stupid evil face until all of the bones in my hands are broken. No, seriously, say it to my face and see how long your face stays in one piece.

    Socially? When you piss on people of a lower social standing. When you treat those above and equal to you with one set of manners, and use a different set of manners with people you deem to be below you. If you engage in racism, sexism, homophobia, and class-based insults, or accept them as “just the way things are.”

  2. Darci

    deal breakers are the “isms”…including ignoring that which around you.

    Agree to disagree is definitely politics and childrearing except if it falls in to the extremes (see above)

  3. I really don’t know what to say about this. I tolerate so few people being part of my life, that I don’t really have any set limits or deal breakers. I know I have little use for racists, sexists, homophobes, liars, advocates of human torture, people who are physically violent, people who are emotionally violent, thieves (list could go on), and I just don’t hang around with them.

  4. Laurie B

    What Gerry said, and above all of those expectations, (well perhaps liars covers it) cheating on your spouse. NOTHING on earth will kick a person out of my universe faster than saying “I’m seeing someone else”. WTF? Clean up the mess you’re in before you make a new one and then, trust me, I’ll not be party to any of your new shit. You just created and invited a whole new karma for yourself and kiddo, karma has a big shovel. I’m done, we’re done, and you live with your decisions, I don’t have to, and you are off of my island.

    Thanks for asking and then feel free to ask me how I really feel about this one. Thanks for asking. I’ve tossed more than a few “friends” over the cliff on this one. I’m fine with couples breaking up, that happens and mostly for good reason. Cheating? Crap, over the cliff on a pitchfork.

  5. My friends are people who are clear on where they stand. They do what they say they are going to do, and act the same, regardless of who they are hanging with. Everything ImprobableJoe said. He’s my best friend because he doesn’t fuck around when it comes to where he stands.

    I’m ok with agreeing to disagree when it comes to religion. I work in a faith-based (Episcopalean) non-profit organization, and I don’t feel I need to push my atheism on them. As long as they leave me alone with the religion thing, we’re good. I’ll listen politely, and move on. However, if you are coming to my front door to prosyletize, your going to be asked to leave.

    Deal-breakers? See ImprobableJoe’s response. Nut-job religious people are definitely out. Nut-job right-wingers, definitely out. Cheaters and beaters, definitely out.

  6. I am thinking…. Sad, but have not given this much thought. I do know that you are my friend. I love you and your qualities. But I am thinking. I might be making this too complex.

  7. I’m chiming in late. I’ve been thinking about it for awhile. As far as close friends, I find it difficult to befriend people who aren’t working toward the same goal: decency for all mankind and equality. That being said, I can overlook some things that seem hard simply because my refusal to be their friend won’t make them understand what I understand. It’ll simply hurt them. It does, however, cause me to limit what I share with them. I don’t know that it’s fair to cut people off or out of my life completely simply because they’re not at the same place on their journey that I am.

  8. My dealbreakers all fall around social issues & human rights. But of course, it depends on the relationship. I am surrounded by people with polar opposite views, but they are either blood relatives that I will not give up, or people who don’t mean as much to me so I can just (mostly) ignore (in the sense that they aren’t worth me getting into arguments with because I either don’t care what they think about me and/or they are too ignorant/unwilling to even hear any side that isn’t their own).

    But in a marriage or romantic relationship, it’s pretty much all dealbreakers. Luckily my husband and I fall on the same side of the fence, because when me met I was young and didn’t realize how important a lot of things are (it helps that he wasn’t particularly political and I could educate him), but if I found myself looking for a partner now, the political stuff would be discussed VERY early, because I couldn’t get past it.

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