This is a topical question at the moment, and I guess the simple answer is “no”. Friends don’t have to agree with you on anything at all. As long as they are friends, it is good.
When do we first call someone a friend?
We can call someone a friend because they follow the same sport as we do, especially if they follow the same team or have the same general perspective on that sport as we do. We can call someone a friend because they like the same TV show or the same movie – or they hate the same movie. They become a friend not because they agree with us on everything but rather because they agree with us on one thing.
When do we stop calling someone a friend?
One of the main things that most people end friendships over is a betrayal. If someone steals your boyfriend or husband or wife (etc) then they can’t be your friend anymore. Similarly, if they get you fired, or even try to get you fired. If they side with your enemy. Or if they tell someone who they know is against you one of your deepest secrets to hurt you – or lie about you. Such things can’t be easily forgiven. If it is a very good friendship then maybe it can withstand betrayal, but not usually.
Should we end a friendship over differing beliefs?
Most of us have different levels of beliefs, ranging from not particularly important to very serious to us. Most of us have 3 or 4 core beliefs that we have, and if someone is against all of them, then it is very difficult to be friends with them, though being against just 1 or 2 might be okay, though it isn’t ideal.
My core beliefs are: (1) I oppose any criticism of anything that anyone was born with or has no control over, (2) I oppose anyone who hurts anyone they do not know, whether it is random or because of what they represent, (3) I oppose anyone who hurts animals unless the animal has hurt them first, (4) I oppose anyone who hurts people unless the person has hurt them first.
When it is okay to end a friendship over a single different belief
There are two ways that these core beliefs can cause the end to a friendship, either (1) they confront you and hurt you for your beliefs or (2) they do something directly to you that opposes your core beliefs.
So for example, let’s say that someone thought it was okay to poke fun of strangers because of their weight. Now, that’s not something that is 100% a core belief, as weight is your control, but it is still making fun of strangers that you don’t know, and weight can be a birth thing too. So if they did that and I knew about it, I wouldn’t like it but I’d probably be okay with it. But if they made fun of me, then I would probably end the friendship. And if they tried to force me to change that belief, I wouldn’t, and I’d sooner end the friendship than change that core belief.
When it is okay to end a friendship over multiple differences in beliefs
When you have just first met someone, you only have a few things in common, for example, that shared sport or sporting team, and at that point, you are vulnerable to small things leading you to change your opinion dramatically. At that point, if they just opened their mouth and starting spewing out a diatribe that was diametrically opposed to my core beliefs, I might just end it there. Maybe I’d let it go once, but if they did it multiple times, on multiple core beliefs, I could just end it there.
And it kind of depends on how long you’ve known each other and how close you are as to how many differing opinions you will tolerate. So long as you still have a lot of positives to fall back on, you’re probably okay. But if it is nothing but things you disagree with and you’ve just got that one sporting team, or whatever it might be, then it might not be worth it. But, then again, if you want someone to go to the game with you, maybe it still is.
But what do I know?
In the end, this is up to you. I am not going to write a rule book for you. I am just writing a rule book for me. You can choose to follow it or not. So feel free to maintain friendships for as long as you like or for as short as you like, and to end them for completely different reasons than I say, and to not end them when I would have. This was just meant to be a way for me to share my beliefs, and see if maybe it helps someone out there who maybe isn’t sure what to do to maybe get an idea that hey this might help. I hope it helps one person out there. If it helped you, then please let me know with a like and a comment.