I was reading a fascinating post from one of my favorite bloggers (Jemma a.k.a DORKFACE), about things she doesn’t have time for. On this list she includes close-minded people. This shocked me because today talking about different opinions can be deadly and even destroy friendships (for some unknown reason). I always wonder: “Why do they allow a difference of opinion to complete tear apart a relationship?” Even on social media, wars RAGE simply because someone decided to post their opinion on Twitter. I firmly believe that opinion-bashing is childish, and it’s extremely disappointing how common it is. Whether you agree or disagree with someone, you need to be respectful. Doesn’t anyone care about respect anymore?
I often mention my frustrations with people who refuse to understand that others have, and will always continue to have, different beliefs/opinions. It is the way of the world and it will never change. It’s something that needs to be universally accepted and understood.
I do not believe in criticizing someone for voicing their opinion. Just because they have the courage to voice their opinion and put it out there, does not give you a right to rebound with negative feedback to try to shut it down. That’s not how that works. If you don’t agree you can start a respectful conversation beginning with something along the lines of either “I want to understand why you feel that way, can you please explain it to me?” or “I understand your opinion, but I this is how I feel about it, what do you think?” If neither of those options work for you, that’s when you smile and nod or walk away.
A conversation about opinions should be a respectful one, regardless of the topic or how strongly you feel about it. The beauty of the opinion is that it is not a fact. If it were a fact, the word opinion would not exist. There is no right or wrong opinion, only right or wrong facts. Please do not confuse the two. The whole purpose of sharing opinions should be to get feedback to create an understanding between two people/groups and their beliefs, not to start arguments and the spreading of hateful messages to both contributing parties.
There will always be people you disagree with, and there will be situations where you feel defensive about your opinion. If it gets heated, the best thing you can do is take a deep breath. Getting into an argument with someone who doesn’t respect other views is a pointless battle. It will most likely never end, but it can be avoided by spreading kindness and voicing your respect regardless. The best way around this situation is to say “I respectfully disagree with you and that is as much as I would like to discuss.”
Don’t let anybody peer pressure you into voicing your opinion. I’ve had that happen before and I ended up in situations just as I have described. Most likely they just want to start and argument and will try to pry you away from your beliefs with guilt. Your opinion is your own, that is why it is called YOUR opinion. My opinion is MY opinion. See the difference?
If you get into a conversation with someone about different opinions, just remember respect is the first rule. If you learn something new from the conversation and walk away with a different opinion, that is your decision; you have that right. Don’t ever let anyone tell you that you cannot change your opinion.
Well that was quite a bit longer and more rant-like than I was originally going for, but it is something I’m quite passionate about (in case ya didn’t notice) and I felt like it needed to be said. I have been dealing with close-minded people a lot more recently and so I felt that this was relevant. I hope that this might’ve been relatable, given you some insight or could at least give you an understanding of my frustration. Check out the post by Jemma here that inspired my response! She has a lovely blog!