Why is it sometimes so difficult to relate to those who hold positions you once held?

(Laura) #1

Not just YEC either, but with other controversial areas in which I have changed my mind (especially in areas that I was very personally invested in for a long time), I sometimes struggle with being willing to relate to and understand others’ points of view, even when they are spouting some of the exact same things I used to say (it seems harder in person than on here). I know I should be compassionate and especially empathetic, having been in the same shoes, but there are instances when it is more difficult than others, and I’m not always sure why. Have others experienced or thought about this? Could it just be pride? A “need to be right” that needs to be let go of? A consequence of a black-and-white frame of mind? Or perhaps a shame response? Does it get easier?

(Mervin Bitikofer) #2

It’s like looking back along a bit of challenging path that you just walked, maybe not quite sure where it would lead or how it would go. Then you look back somebody is a little ways behind you but walking the same path that you’ve already negotiated. You want to reach out your hand and say --“yeah – I just did that, you’ll be okay; just step there and there, and avoid those loose rocks right there…” But they insist on negotiating their own way and don’t just come zooming up to you on the strength of your reassurances. It’s hard not to take it personally that they don’t trust you or something --which may be true enough. But the reality is I think we all take time to get used to new ideas, especially ones that threaten to upend some of our cherished convictions.

(Laura) #3

That’s true. We all do take time, and I certainly wouldn’t have blamed people for getting frustrated with me either. I guess it’s harder when it’s someone older than you, or more experienced, or someone who has more authority… it’s harder to view it as trying to look back and give them a hand without it feeling condescending, even if that’s not how it’s meant.

(Phil) #4

We also tend to integrate those beliefs into who we see ourselves as people, just as we integrate our occupations, and when someone rejects our belief, we see it as them rejecting us personally. If the rejector is a friend, that is especially painful.
What then are we to do? We must listen, be sensitive, and as Paul said, submit to one another.

(Laura) #5

Yes, that’s true… and I realize that to many, sharing my acceptance of an old earth now would be perceived as a complete betrayal of who I’ve been raised to be, sadly. I suppose that it is possible to change beliefs and still retain an unhealthy attachment to them (whatever they may be) as saying more about us than they should.

(system) #6

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