You and your BFF disagree on a heated topic. This is at least the third time you’ve discussed the issue and it’s getting uncomfortable. Afraid of offending her, you remain silent allowing her to go on and on to present her case. You completely disagree for valid reasons, but should you tell her? We should live at peace with everyone as much as possible. Not everyone will let peace happen, but we should try. How can you disagree peacefully when her side really pushes your buttons? Try the following conversation the next time you get into a heated debate. Let’s say the topic is a book you have chosen not to read due to the graphic content and she thinks you are a legalistic curmudgeon (maybe sometimes you are?). The title of the book is Vampires Love Zombies, part one of a trilogy including Vampires Eat Zombies and Zombies Eat Vampires. Curtain rises.

BFF: VLZ is not just about blood and gore. There’s a love story.

You: (withhold judgment, find out more) Tell me about the love story. Is it one of those Hollywood never happens in real life kind?

BFF : You know, yeah, it’s kind of cheesy when you think about it, but there are sex scenes. A lot of graphic scenes. I think you just have to look past those and enjoy the fun parts.

You: (judging the book, not the person) Are those scenes really that easy to look past or forget? Is most of the book an easy read or is it more serious?

BFF: It’s meant to be serious but like I said, it’s kind of cheesy at parts. Some of the scenes are a little disturbing. Those aren’t my favorite parts of the book.

You: I think I would enjoy the cheesy love story, but I just don’t think I could get past the disturbing parts. I can’t get that kind of stuff out of my head. I don’t think it’s healthy to keep thinking about graphic scenes like that. I want my thoughts to be free of disturbing images.

BFF: Well, if you can look past the graphic scenes,it’s a great book! Let me know if you ever want to borrow it.

You: I can’t do that, so that’s not going to happen, but thanks for the offer.

Remember to judge the material or topic, not the person. None of us is perfect. Will your friend all of a sudden “convert” to your viewpoint? All signs point to no, probably not. But, hopefully you will be able to have intelligent debates peacefully and you won’t have to give back your half of the BFF necklace.