Trying to force somebody to see things the way you do. That’s not the same as disagreeing with them. No, there’s a word for that: it’s called being a jackass.

Earlier I defended individualism. A friend disagreed. And I can still call him a friend because our disagreement didn’t end up in total destruction. Did he try to impose his worldview onto mine? No. Did he jaunt and scoff and place himself on a moral high ground? To all of the above, no.

A disagreement means, “let me try to strengthen my argument. Gather more evidence. Clarify my last point. Give me a moment so I can try to be as articulate as I possibly can.” A good litmus test for friendship is how well the two of you handle a disagreement. If communication is sacred and holy, then a disagreement should be treated like the Olympics. Take it seriously.

Beware those who masquerade as your friend, only to show their true colors once you share your opinions.

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