I am a teenage boy and I am worried about my oldest friend.We were divided over politics | friendship

I’m a late to mid teens boy and I’m worried about my oldest friend.He’s also my cousin and you guessed it, we knew each other our whole life. We were the same age, had similar interests, and were very close from an early age, but grew up to disagree: politics.

I support the slow transition to socialism across generations, but he is a right wing who claims to be a “centrist”. He also said of what polluted the minds of our peers, “I can understand Tait’s argument. The world has come to discriminate against men” or “It is no longer acceptable for men to be men.” “

It might be awkward because of his family, but should I cut contact with him? Try talking to him further about this. Shall I share this with his family (it would damage our relationship and honestly, they probably wouldn’t mind) or let him sort himself out? I’ve talked to other friends, but their opinions have spread, and I’m even more confused. Any advice on what I should do?

Eleanor says: It thinks so highly of you that I think you asked around what you should do. I also have humility and curiosity.

Don’t underestimate how much insight it takes. Whatever you end up doing with this relationship, I’ll keep that knowledge in your pocket as a sort of medallion of pride. You have already shown a lot of character in difficult situations.

I am less concerned about his political views than about his views on masculinity. independent from But the dismissal of women and the stories of men becoming victims of feminist advances can be much more difficult to change.

Rigidly gendered frameworks tend not only to be a set of beliefs, but also a set of influences the way we look People, almost literally what we hear or who we hear. Not only does it change your position in a particular debate, it changes what is debated and who can contribute.

First reassurance: Many people regret what they did as teenagers years later. . It’s almost as if if I put on the regalia of being this kind of person, I would get what I actually need: self-understanding, charm, etc. Independence. Many try out all sorts of attire, from goths to young toastmasters, and shed them before they reach adulthood.

Less reassuring: Hard to quantify, but I suspect it’s much easier to accidentally rust into these identities in the online space. If forums and YouTube spirals can trap and radicalize adults, it’s not easy for young people to get out of it. The risk is that it might really upset the formative girls around him.

Unfortunately, reasoned conversations and punitive breaks are rarely the means of conversion. But there is something that might be available here. Very often people’s beliefs respond to their emotional experiences in everyday life. Can you sneak him into some kind of experience that refutes his way of thinking? Can you insist on modeling what it looks like to have a female friend? So aren’t women just an imaginary thing to generalize with other men online?

Can you fill his life with things that provide him with a sense of belonging or independence or an opportunity to feel wiser? You can have options to rely on when you want to feel.

In time, he may need to assess whether or not he’s someone you want to be friends with, but for now, you’re in an incredibly valuable position.You’re a close male friend. affect a lot. Just thinking about it, I’m sure you’ll be able to use it well.


Got a conflict, crossroads, or dilemma you need help with? Eleanor Gordon-Smith helps you ponder life’s questions and puzzles, big and small. Her questions can be anonymous.

I am a teenage boy and I am worried about my oldest friend.We were divided over politics | friendship

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