sparrowdown: Shunning used as official discipline for breaking the rules is what cults do as part of their information control policy to keep people under the thumb. Deciding personally to not hang out with a certain individual for whatever reason is personal choice.
You hit the nail on the head. After leaving the JWs I took the extreme of being very tolerant towards people, even if they were rude, bigoted or just plain crazy. I didn't want to be like the JWs and shun these people just because they were different or I didn't agree with some of their views.
But obnoxious crazy bigots DO tend to get on one's nerves, so eventually I did start shunning their company and felt the obligatory guilt. It took me a long time to see the distinction between what I was doing and what the JWs had done to me. I wasn't shunning these people because some higher authority commanded me to or I was afraid of the social consequences should anyone see me associating with racists, gay-bashers and religious nuts. Hell no, I didn't give a shit what anyone thought of me! I was shunning these people because they fucking pissed me off virtually EVERY TIME I held a conversation with them! Do you know how infuriating it is trying to reason with a guy who maintains that most gay men are child molesters? I did.
But now I am free and I owe it all to honoring my inner shunner.