For most socially aware and active individuals, it can be tough to maintain relationships with those who don’t support their ideals or viewpoints. You learn to desensitize yourself to actions that upset you, stay silent when you sense that something’s wrong, restraining yourself so that others don’t feel judged and so on. In the process, you end up suppressing who you are.
Being an activist in a world that may not always support your views isn’t always easy. So it becomes all the more important that you keep the company of supportive people. You can also limit your interactions with those who make you feel like you have to change.
You can choose to tune out your family, disagree with friends, get into arguments with your partner and so on. However, what you need to keep in mind is that while you should never suppress your views, you shouldn’t do it in a manner that prevents engagement and discussion.
You can acknowledge your weaknesses and also consider what others perceive as “weaknesses” may actually be strengths. Every individual owns the right to decide their goals and digest feedback accordingly. It’s you who have to decide that which is valuable. Ignoring others’ feedback doesn’t mean you’re bad at taking criticism. How to go about that?
It’s impossible to take everyone’s feedback. You need to be judicious about the criticism to absorb and which to reject. One should develop enough self-awareness and objectivity to know the difference.
Remember that all this applies to people who espouse viewpoints unlike yours as well. There’s a difference between imposing your beliefs on others and refusing to let others impose theirs on you. You should never judge yourself based on anyone else’s ideals, just as they don’t have to judge themselves based on yours.
There are ways of objecting to others’ choices. In this respect, just because certain people find issue with your behavior, it doesn’t mean that you have to change it, as long you respect their boundaries. But no matter how problematic someone’s actions are, pointing out such issues may not always be productive. You’ve to learn to choose your battles.
You have to know exactly when to quit. The fine line between educating somebody and forcing them against their will is hard to spot. While you can clearly and confidently state your view of someone else’s actions, it’s for them to react in way they choose. You shouldn’t try to push them to agree with you.
While you may choose to express yourself in an aggressive manner, accusations of being adversarial are very often mere tone policing, especially when directed toward women or the underserved. We shouldn’t hesitate to call out others’ actions while acknowledging their autonomy. And we definitely shouldn’t let anyone undermine our own.