Ok … My Blog Family. Keep an open mind with this one. It is my hope that all of us will take a minute and consider what I’m about to write. A very simple thing, yet it does so much damage in our relationships when used improperly.
Let me start by giving two definitions:
FACT – a thing that is known or proved to be true.
OPINION – a view or judgment formed about something, not necessarily based on fact or knowledge.
Now, who is guilty of combining these two as one in the same? Raise your hand! Come on now… Perfect…. I now see everyone’s hand raised. It’s great to see your honesty.
So, why is it that we get so frustrated when someone else doesn’t accept our opinion as a fact? Why do we get in heated conversations over differing… opinions? Can we at least today accept the following fact? …. I’m grateful that I have the ability to have an opinion that is my very own. I should accept, and be as grateful, that other people can have that very same privilege, and have an opinion of their own. Sounds completely fair right?
Ok… we’ve made it through the first step…. whew! Time to buckle up for the next part.
In our conversations, let’s try to separate the two. Facts are facts! They can be proven, so, rarely do we argue these points, as they can be quickly resolved with a few keystrokes to ask Mr. Google.
So specifically regarding opinions… START by allowing others to have a different opinion than yours. Give them that! (Now… here comes the big part).. It is not our job to convince the other person that their opinion is wrong, and that yours is right. OH BOMBSHELL!!! Stop making this the purpose of your life. =)
Opinions that clash can be helpful if we are open-minded. If you like to see both sides, then you don’t always want to talk to people who feel exactly the same about things as you do. There is a great deal that can be learned through these differing types of discussions. Listen without the intent to “Destroy”. Consider what you are hearing, it might make sense.
It’s my challenge to you to know when to stop “Debating”, “Fighting” “Discussing”… whatever you want to call it. With the tension on the rise, identify this time to back down…. “Oh yeah… It’s just as important that I allow the other person their own opinion, as they are allowing me mine”. Stop pushing, it is now making you look bad.
Forcing your opinion on others will always be a negative hit against you. Even if your opinion is 100% correct. Why? Because people don’t like to give up the freedom of having their own opinion, simply because the most vocal one demands it. (OH… read that one again!)
Keep that friendship… Let the discussion end with a positive note of reassuring the other person that you still care about them. And…. Loose the fight once in a while. Knowing when to back off, and doing it with love will always be a positive hit for you!
Celebrate that we all think differently. Stop trying to change everyone into being just like you. Avoid forcing others to see things your way. You will find a haven of freshness as you avoid confrontation based upon opinions. Find common ground with others once in a while. We can all be unique AND still get along just fine.
You thoughts…. or should I say…. What is your opinion? Leave your comments below.