I never really considered someone else's party affiliation as a deal breaker until I started talking about politics more with my friends. Politics never really came up amongst my friends, but if it did, we all shared the same opinion. People are great at grouping themselves whether or not they realize that. Belonging is a human need, so it makes sense for people to hang out with others that resemble their beliefs. Political parties are used to group those with similar ideas, but each party has different beliefs.
Ever since I started following politics closely, the political views of the people around me became more important to me.
The implications of affiliating with a party had more of a meaning to me. Ever since the 2016 election, I realized I have become more judgmental towards party preference. I don't have any disdain towards Republicans, but I'm very hesitant to hang out with avid Trump supporters. I realize that it sounded shallow, but hanging out with people whose ideals are extremely different from mine made me uncomfortable and I avoided it as much as possible.
One time I realized that party affiliation changed how I viewed a person was when I found out my best friend was a Trump supporter.
Like I said before, I don't talk about politics with my friends on a daily basis, but finding out she was a Trump supporter really shocked me. The shock came from being around like-minded people all the time that when someone disagreed, it was an anomaly. But she's not an extreme "build that wall" type of person, so keeping our friendship wasn't difficult.
From there, I realized that parties don't have to be polarizing in my personal life they are in politics.
Even when we talk about politics, I can understand the other side since it's coming from a friend and not a distant politician. Of course, we disagree from time to time but having people that don't agree with me allowed me to open up my horizons and get different points of view. In the future, political affiliation will still play a role in how I see people, but it will not be the end all be all.