Quick Anger Tip 9 – You can like people you don’t agree with

People are complex. Relationships are complex. Many times we can strongly disagree with someone’s beliefs but still like them as a person. The best example of this is the relationship between the late Rev. Jerry Falwell and Larry Flynt. Rev. Falwell was, of course, head of the Moral Majority political movement and Larry Flynn is best known as a pornographer and more recently a First Amendment advocate. Two people couldn’t be further apart in terms of beliefs and opinions regarding morality, free speech, and sexual expression. Yet, in the end, they became personal friends, often calling and visiting each other (as reported by Larry Flynn himself).

Somehow, despite their differences, they found many things to like about each other and ultimately were able to forge some kind of mutual bond.

How can you do the same thing regarding people you conflict with? The answer is to try and  separate in your mind the things you may like about a person vs. what beliefs or values they have that may be different from yours.

Why can’t you like a person who sees the world differently than you do? Anger is often generated by telling ourselves that “different” is wrong or “bad” instead of just “different.”

To reduce your anger, develop more tolerance toward people who think differently than you do, but may have other virtues that you can appreciate.