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How to Discuss Options when a Friend Comes Out
Examine your feelings.If you have no negative feelings about your friend coming out, this article will not be useful to you. If your first reaction is to be opposed to this new information, take a step back. They are your friend, and they haven't just changed; only your perception of them has. They deserve at least a moment of thought. If you don't know much about other sexual orientations, do some research. You can ask your friend questions, if you're curious and courteous. If your objection to their orientation is founded in your religion, go back to your religious teachings and look them over with mindfulness of your friend. Your friend has undoubtedly been thinking about this for a long time, so you should try to catch up before jumping to any conclusions.
State your reaction calmly and respectfully.Let's say you disagree with the lifestyle you think people of their orientation have. (Although, most LGBT people do not consider this a lifestyle choice) - starting a yelling match and putting them on the defensive is not going to be productive. Instead, state your response to their coming out simply and honestly, without hostility - for example:
"Okay, I don't question who you're attracted to, but you must know I would have a problem with the 'lifestyle'. Can we discuss the reasons for my problems?"
Be direct without being hostile.Taking a hostile, superior position of opposition will not persuade them to reconsider their orientation, even if such persuasion was possible (and many do not believe it is). Warning them that they will "surely burn in hell" will not help to make your point. They have probably struggled with how to tell you, knowing you will be opposed and dreading your reaction. If you simply offer your honest opinion and advice, it will be received in the spirit given - for example, you might say: "Obviously, I have religious objections to this 'lifestyle'. Have you considered all of those issues?" At least with such direct questions, it's possible to attain clarity, even if they do not take your advice.
Respect one another.They probably struggled long and hard before coming to the realization of their sexuality, but if you truly believe they need to hear your objections, just know that they have probably heard it all before. Up until the moment they came out to you, you thought the world of them, believed they were bright, funny, and together. Remember that they are still the same person that they have always been, and is still the same friend - do have respect for the fact that they have probably discussed, wrestled with, and analyzed their life in the light of the familiar objections that you may bring up, and if they decide that they do not want to hear it(again, most likely), respect their wishes and keep your opinion to yourself from then on. Remind them that your point of view should be respected as well - as you are respectful of them, your friend should be respectful of your opinion, and not laugh, deride or ridicule your presentation of your side of this topic.
Decide whether you will continue the friendship privately, then inform.It may be that you and your friend will have to agree to disagree. While you may desperately want to convince them that this lifestyle is"wrong", please bear in mind that is your opinion - there is a great deal of controversy over this, even amongst theologians and other religious persons. You will need to decide whether you can accept their orientation at all; if you feel you won't be able to refrain from proselytizing against it, then you may be better off simply informing them that you are not comfortable with the 'lifestyle' and won't be able to participate as their friend any longer.
Don't beat a dead horse.Let's assume you want to remain friends, even if they don't take your advice to leave the lifestyle. If they have allowed you to present your case for leaving the so-called"gay lifestyle", and have rejected your advice to do so,let it go. You have done your part by presenting your opinion and the documentation backing up your reasons for disagreeing. They will have to be responsible for their own life in the end - not you - and therefore you will need to respect it and let the subject drop there. Don't keep harping at them, or it will end your friendship.
End the friendship if you must.Remember that this is your friend's life, not yours. If you have expressed your beliefs, feelings, reservations and concerns to no avail, and you find that despite your best efforts, have a serious issue with having an LGBT person in your life, then end the friendship. You are not likely to change them - while you may believe it is a decision while they believe they had no choice, the reality is, choice or no, it is up to them, not you. An ultimatum will go nowhere, so trying something like, "Look, this is your last chance. If you can't change, we can't be friends." There is no point in arguing, fighting, pushing, pressuring, or proselytizing. If you can't stop yourself from doing this, then end the torture - just withdraw. Say, "I do care deeply about you, but I've made my position on this very clear to you. If there is no way I can influence you away from this life, then I have to walk away. I will keep good thoughts (or prayers, whatever you wish) for you and hope the best for you."
Remember that your friend is still the same friend they were before they came out.There are many people all over the world who have to cope with their own uncertainty, their own coming to terms with their sexuality, and the process of coming out. Try not to think of their orientation as everything about them, but rather just another part of the same friend you had before.
QuestionHow do I tell if my man is gay?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerIf you have reason to suspect that he's attracted to members of the same gender, sit down for a calm one-on-one talk to address your concerns.Thanks!
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- Being respectful and treating your friend as an adult certainly will go a long way toward her being receptive to your message.
- Present your message in a straightforward and non-critical manner for best results.
- Bear in mind that most gay people believe that there is a genetic component to sexual orientation, while some believe that one's sexual orientation emerges for most people in early adolescence. We can choose whether to act on our feelings - but most actual lesbian, transgender, gay and bisexual peopledo notconsider that one'sactualsexuality is ever a choice. Many psychologists do not consider sexual orientation to be a conscious choice that can be voluntarily changed; persons can choose whether or notto expresstheir sexual orientation as an act of their own will. Taking all of this into consideration, it's very doubtful that one's orientation would ever change just because his or her friend told them to do so, so don't take it personally if your encouragement not to act on the orientation does not result in an oath of celibacy or your friend deciding to attempt a straight life.
- Most LGBT people will have spent long hours considering the impact of coming out to friends and relatives, sometimes agonizing over the decision to come out to them. The reason for the agony is the understanding that some people will disagree for any number of reasons, and cut off contact with or react negatively to them in the future. If all of the pain and dread, however, have not stopped the person from disclosing their orientation, it's doubtful that you registering your discomforts or encouraging themnotto act on it will have any effect. Be prepared for the fact that your friend will very likely have already heard and considered every objection you will raise, and it will not change anything for them. This may be very frustrating for you, and it may be that you will have to make decisions accordingly.
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Date: 06.12.2018, 15:37 / Views: 63161