Talking to New People
by: Danielle Xu
There's a feeling of success when you get a cute guy’s number.
The hope and sensation that it might go well and maybe he could be a really great guy. He’s intelligent, funny, talks about politics (something that I look for)...then somehow he shatters the seemingly perfect image by telling you he has different beliefs than yours.
We’ve all been in a situation like this, whether it be someone we like, or perhaps a family member. I have strong feelings about politics and current events, and I will fight for what I believe in, no matter how sensitive the topic is.
When it came to my knowledge that the guy I was interested in had different beliefs than me, all I could think was, “Oh no. This isn’t going to end well.” That may seem silly, or immature, but the fact is that’s usually how things go in today’s polarized society. Our government can barely function due to this exact thing.
I expected a full on fight because I’ve been led to believe this is the only possible outcome in this situation. However, I was shocked to find that was not at all what happened.
He asked me whether or not I would be comfortable to talk about a certain topic. It really blew me away, as I expected him to talk about what his opinions were with some type of backlash and insults towards the evidence I provided.
We got into discussions through rapid typing and shooting off texts. He was respectable. He provided facts and reason that didn’t make his argument totally based off opinion. While I had imagined I was walking into a fight, I instead found myself discussing differing views with someone in a way that we should all be able to.
I have developed a respect for this guy. We won’t ever be romantically involved, but that’s okay. We still do talk, but it’s more friendship based. The conversations don’t consist of politics much anymore, mostly whether or not Toby Maguire or Tom Holland is a better Spider-Man. What I expected him to be was not at all what I actually experienced.
In a way, it taught me that not everyone with different beliefs, is as horrible as the media tries to portray them to be. It taught me that every time I defend my beliefs doesn’t have to be a fight. People can be very ignorant, and often I’m guilty of that as well. However, people can surprise you in so many ways. There’s no way to determine what other people will think if you base it off something you see in the media. From this experience, I learned that next time I need to be more open-minded to discussions with people who don’t necessarily share the same ideas as me.