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Ghostly Beliefs And The Effect On Friendships


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#1 Augustine

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Posted 14 August 2009 - 12:13 AM

I was wondering if anyone here has ever lost a friend or had a friendship (or romantic relationship, or relationship with a family member) significantly affected by your beliefs in the paranormal.

For example, I had a sort-of friend on another website with some very traditional Christian beliefs.  NOTE: I'm not mentioning this to encourage any sort of religious debate--only to give a context for her reaction.  Since she lives in London, I recommended that she do a ghost tour on Halloween night.  She said that the idea of ghosts (and even Halloween itself) makes her uncomfortable because she thinks that people either go to heaven or hell and that paranormal entities are obviously demonic, and that's the reason she doesn't even want to deal with ghosts.  I explained that my opinion that ghosts are the souls of the dead.  When I asked if my differing beliefs on the matter would hurt our friendship, she said "not really."  Which is different from saying "no" or "of course not."  And after that, she never talked to me quite the same or as often.  I think my non-Biblical approach to the paranormal really put her off.

I've also had people who have no background or interest in the paranormal look at me really funny when I reveal my interest in paranormal investigating.  It's not a moment that can be taken back.  Anyone had this happen?  Like now that you've revealed your "odd" hobby, you know that's what they're going to think about every time they see you from now on?

How have your beliefs in the paranormal affected your relationships?


#2 Judecat

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Posted 14 August 2009 - 03:38 AM

No I haven't,  but that might be because I have a stricter definition of "relationship" or "friends" than some other people.  Just because someone is friendly and there is one common interest,  doesn't make it a "friendship",  just makes for a friendly aquaintance.   I've got hundreds of "friendly aquantances online,  mostly in groups and forums dedicated to one subject.  I've got dozens more in person,  my book club,  the Star Trek fan club,  etc, etc,  but I only have 6 or 7 people I consider as friends.

Never had a relationship spoiled by my interest in the paranormal,  or my particular religion,  my politics,  my fandoms,  or even my status as a crazy cat lady -- because discussions of such matters happen long before there is a relationship.  Example -- if a guy asks me for a date,  the first question is do you like cats.  If he doesn't like cats,  then we never have a relationship,  because we never have that date.

And I'm really far to old to care if people look at me funny because I believe or don't believe in something.   I'm old enough to wear pink bobby socks,  grubby timberland hiking shoes with peddal pushers and a  blue man's tee shirt to work and don't care at all what anyone thinks.  Night shift doesn't have a dress code,  and I'm there to work,  not impress anyone.

#3 trin

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Posted 14 August 2009 - 05:01 AM

While I have a rather Large circle of friends, my closer circles are actually rather small.
...and none of them are people that judge me.  (maybe out on the fringes of the circle, and it doesn't affect me much if at all.)

However, I faced some discrimination when I was going to college in another city, when newish friend discovered my religion (not exactly a secret, but not exactly something I bring up, it's not THAT important in most cases) and my mixed race heritage.  
   I think it's the "race mixing" that happened as ancestors arrived in the US that offended her more than anything I had control over.

IMHO "race" doesn't really exist. There's just human.  (If humans can interbreed with vulcans, well then it's clearly within the same species so no biggie from my POV.)



#4 Caniswalensis

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Posted 14 August 2009 - 06:33 AM

I can not remember ever having a relationship with a close friend or family member seriously affected by a difference in views on the paranormal or religion.

There have been some discussions where we agreed to disagree, but everyone that knows me knows that I respect the views of others so their was never any tension or animosity.

I do ocaisionally get slightly negative reactions from others when they find out I am a skeptic & an athiest.   Usually they give be a half disbelief, half pity sort of look, as though I had just told them I have no kidneys or something.  Nothing serious, and I just shrug it off.  At this stage of my life, I pretty much know who I am.

regards, Canis

#5 karmacae

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Posted 14 August 2009 - 10:19 AM

(If humans can interbreed with vulcans, well then it's clearly within the same species so no biggie from my POV.)


What ????  This is Star Track related..... It has nothing to do with spooks.....lmao
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#6 Ratterlin

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Posted 14 August 2009 - 11:51 AM

In my experience, sharing my enthusiasm for the paranormal has strengthened more relationships than hurt them. My boyfriend and I share our experiences all the time as we remember them and go ghost hunting together since it is something we both love and are interested in. Other friends have been able to open up about their experiences since no one else in their life have understood them like someone like me who has experienced similar things. The only people who have scorned me for believing in the paranormal have been my father and my grandmother on my mom's side. My grandmother is a strict southern Baptist and does not believe anything "unnatural". My dad just likes to make fun of things he doesn't understand. I just learn who to share my experiences with and who not to.
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#7 EVP

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Posted 14 August 2009 - 10:10 PM

I can't personally say that my own belief systems have challenged a relationship but in general my words are as follows...if they accept you for who you are...they are your friend and those that do not are merely an acquaintance at best..

#8 clinsey

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Posted 15 August 2009 - 10:11 AM

I've never had a relationship or friendship hurt by my interest in the paranormal.  But it's not something I usually bring up to people I don't know well.

For instance, I got a new job a few months ago.  One day in the breakroom some people were talking about something (not paranormal) and someone commented,  "So and so said...blah, blah, blah..." and someone else replied, "Well, he should know, he talks to ghosts!"  At which time a low chuckle went around the room.  I didn't say anything and I've never broached the paranormal topic with this employee who I know has an interest in it.   I guess, especially under these circumstances, I like people to get to know me before they hear about that side of me.  If I were asked point blank what I think about the paranormal I'd answer honestly, but I don't volunteer it.

Anyone close to me knows my beliefs.  Some share them, some don't and just think of it as a "quirk".  I really don't see how it should affect a friendship negatively, no matter how religous someone is, unless you're worshiping satan!


#9 Night_Mystic

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Posted 16 August 2009 - 06:58 PM

Never had many friends, good number of aquaintances though. Never lost a friend because of my beleif in paranormal stuff, but aquaintences had poked fun at me sometimes, until a something messed up happened to them.

#10 hatsheput63

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Posted 17 August 2009 - 05:03 AM

Autumn has lost several "boyfriends" because of our hobby.  I get eyerolling and insults from a few family members,but,more of them think it is neat,and many have had things happen that they cannot figure out.
I tell people that if I can get an explanation,I will accept it.
I have neighbors that shun us for it all. Thank goodness that it is illegal run people out of town,or they would try!!   AS much as we are trying to avoid the religion of the subjects we are talking about,I think religion plays a huge...HUGE part of the openess to even hear about other people's beliefs.  For me it is a double whammy,non-Christian,and paranormal believer.    I almost think it is good to weed out the ones that cannot deal early on though!   ~Shelley
What is this ghost shadow that brushes my shoulder?
The night wind whispers and I must follow. Long is the shadow cast by the black wings of fear.


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#11 lorddraven2000

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Posted 17 August 2009 - 09:44 AM

Can't say I have lost friends over it but I am sure the oppurtunity to meet new friends may have been hindered once it was revealed that I was a paranormal researcher, lol.

#12 Daemon

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Posted 17 August 2009 - 11:58 AM

When I was still investigating, I found some people were put off by this, however I've never lost a friend or family member to this. If they were truly your friend and loved you, your beliefs would not come between you.

My beliefs in the existence of God, however, has caused quite a bit of animosity in some family members.

#13 trin

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Posted 18 August 2009 - 05:21 AM

I should add that I have friends that I KNOW I shouldn't bring up certain topics around...   if politics, religion, etc are going to get in the way, 'm gonna try to aoid those subjects all together.

#14 lorddraven2000

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Posted 18 August 2009 - 08:25 AM

Trin, I think we all have friends like that, I know I do. My faith as always been a hinderence in the eyes of the friends I had in high school. They keep asking were the old drinking machine crazy guy as gone and I just keep telling them to a better place, lol.

#15 Augustine

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Posted 18 August 2009 - 01:17 PM

QUOTE(trin @ Aug 18 2009, 09:21 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I should add that I have friends that I KNOW I shouldn't bring up certain topics around...   if politics, religion, etc are going to get in the way, 'm gonna try to aoid those subjects all together.

I had no idea this particular woman was so invested in her Christianity--or that she'd take such offense at celebrating Halloween or the idea that "ghosts = human souls."  I also grew up in a Christian family and my relatives were all about Halloween and believed in human hauntings.  So I made an erroneous assumption about what this woman's feelings would be on these subjects.  I just had no way of knowing how she'd react.  Now I wish I'd never brought it up, since I used to get along really well with this person.  I guess it's her loss that she can't deal with the fact that my spiritual beliefs differ from hers.

#16 trin

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Posted 18 August 2009 - 09:36 PM

QUOTE(AugustineGStudy @ Aug 18 2009, 04:17 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I had no idea this particular woman was so invested in her Christianity--or that she'd take such offense at celebrating Halloween or the idea that "ghosts = human souls."  I also grew up in a Christian family and my relatives were all about Halloween and believed in human hauntings.  So I made an erroneous assumption about what this woman's feelings would be on these subjects.  I just had no way of knowing how she'd react.  Now I wish I'd never brought it up, since I used to get along really well with this person.  I guess it's her loss that she can't deal with the fact that my spiritual beliefs differ from hers.


It's sometimes surprising how wide of a variety of beliefs can be covered under one label!  
She's Christian, you may be JUST as religious and Christian, but your world views are so widely different.



#17 Augustine

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Posted 18 August 2009 - 09:53 PM

QUOTE(trin @ Aug 19 2009, 01:36 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
She's Christian, you may be JUST as religious and Christian, but your world views are so widely different.

Actually, I'm neither.  I was raised as such, but it never took.  However, that never stopped she and I from getting along famously up until the specifics of our beliefs were revealed.  I had an ex like that too.  We went months before the subject of religion came up, and then he went all weird when he found out I didn't believe the same things.  Odd how people let such a thing divide them from others so easily.

#18 Kitkat

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Posted 19 August 2009 - 11:51 AM

My friends all either believe in ghosts, or just really don't care if I do.

#19 Feeler

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Posted 19 August 2009 - 02:55 PM

I've never had my beliefs cause any serious issues with anyone I have known.  My brother-in-law is a known skeptic as well as non believer in anything religious- so I tease him allll the time with the experiences I have had and love to tell him stories from my childhood about church or what my Mom would talk about (she was a charismatic catholic...).  He teases me right back bringing up things I have spoken about- it's all in good nature.

Our Dad is very ill and recently has been more open to speaking about spirituality and his thoughts- he has always expressed his lack of belief in the paranormal even though every house we have lived in has been haunted- he has had PLENTY of personal experiences and considers every one of them to have an explanation that doesn't involve ghosts.  We all recognize it and see him almost waver in his thoughts, but he has never flat out said he believes in anything paranormal.  He does, however, believe people can do things with their own energies.  

I've always had close relationships with people I work with one way or another.  The last job I had my co-worker was an admitted skeptic and she was just as fun to tease as my brother-in-law.  Though when I played my crazy EVP I caught in my house a few years ago for her, she seriously didn't know what to think.  (But then, no one does...)

I don't know if I am just so loveable people can look past what they would think is 'crazy' just so they can be near me.   th_sarcastic_blum.gif

#20 curious

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Posted 20 August 2009 - 08:34 AM

I guess for me it has shaped the depth of the relationships that I have. Most of the people I know would be VERY uncomfortable with the idea of spirits, energies, psychics etc... so I just dont talk about it with them.( they all think Im sorta an odd duck anyways, why confirm it th_sarcastic_blum.gif ) They never bring up the subject, so neither do I. It does limit the closeness of our frienships though. Even my husband ,with whom I share most everything, is uncomfortable with it, so i just keep myself to myself.