Why Is It Important To Have Opinions And Communicate Them?

Opinion

‘Don’t be judgmental’

Who, me?

The comment hit me like a hurricane!

I have been learning for almost 8 years not to be judgmental.

I have tried quite hard to restrict my opinions.

Do I have to make such an effort even in case of my own sister?

She is one of the few persons with whom I speak out my mind, without thinking. She too?

‘Well, where did you pick up this word?’ I tried to tease her. She didn’t like my question. She reacted sharply as if I had assaulted her intellect!

Why are people so obsessed with words of appreciation all the time? Even our own dear ones, the nearest ones dislike an honest opinion!

Isn’t it good to have your own opinion? Many people resent that!

They want to hear what they think is right, thereby trying to change your opinion. The meek ones accept and learn to subdue their voice.

They want you to be guided by their own choices, their own likes and dislikes and may even stall your growth by keeping you away from forming your own views.

Is ‘judgmental’ a synonym of opinion, another question that cropped up instantly in my mind.

I went to thesaurus (so easy when it is just under your fingers) to understand this word better and found 42 synonyms of opinion.

Then my fingers danced over to dictionary and I found:

Synonym Study

  1. Opinion, sentiment, view are terms for one’s conclusion about something. An opinion is a belief or judgment that falls short of absolute conviction, etc., are probably true or likely to prove so: political opinions; an opinion about art; In my opinion this is true.)

I have been trying to understand why an innocent and candid opinion is also construed as ‘judgment.’ Why are we so touchy about receiving opinions?

“If someone isn’t what others want them to be, the others become angry. Everyone seems to have a clear idea of how other people should lead their lives, but none about his or her own.” – Paulo Coelho

Opinion Molders:

An effort has always been made; in all ages by all societies to mold opinion yet there have been independent thinkers and revolutionaries who refused to be cowed down by fanatics, conformists and conservatives.

Social values, friends, communities and families control our thoughts.

While teaching students of an impressionable age, when they are struggling to break free from the unwritten decrees of society, I observed that 99% of them are guided by the opinion of their parents and cultural compulsions. They believe what is told to them.Opinion Quote

Only few dare to form their own opinion, which gets molded much later in life and that too if they are not prejudiced.

Pre-judged assumptions of political and religious leaders reach us through media and advertising and they feed on our emotions, which can be easily swayed.

In an era of digital world where advertising barons and group discussions shout at us, it is easier to get influenced by what people are saying.

Why is it essential to nurture our opinion?

  • It defines us and our personality
  • It makes us an independent individual
  • It sets us apart from others
  • Society evolves with opinions or new beliefs
  • Opinions have always ushered change

Many times we are encouraged to keep our opinions to ourselves. I could never be guided by such well-wishers!!

If you don’t have an opinion, you can be easily manipulated. Some people love to do that.

Have you met such people? How strong is your opinion about people and issues?

Thank you for reading this. Please share your valuable reflections.

If you have liked this article, please share it at your favorite social networks.

Balroop Singh.

 

 


 

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38 thoughts on “Why Is It Important To Have Opinions And Communicate Them?

  1. You have picked or piqued another interesting subject depending on how someone reacts! 🙂
    I think how you convey also makes lot of difference. we all react more to manner and context than actual content. In my opinion we should also know when and how things should be conveyed.

    1. We all react sharply when our voice is not heard, more so when we are enthusiastic about a project or a plan. Yes, one ought to be considerate, which is learnt quite slowly. Thank you for the reminder. 🙂

  2. What a controversial topic you picked to write about, Balroop. We are all different individuals in this world, yet some people simply refuse to accept another person’s train of thought. “They want to hear what they think is right” I think so of some people I’ve met, especially at work when someone feels that a certain project is right but in reality will hurt the team in the long run. It can be hard to deal with people like this because sometimes they might feel their opinion should be heard (rightfully so), and they will keep repeating it.

    You are right in that the world is changing, and there will always be new opinions. I suppose some opinions give us comfort, certainty and predictability and that will make it hard for us to accept another viewpoint.

    1. Yes Mabel, the topic is controversial because we are so sensitive about our opinions. There are two kinds of people…one who are too eager to share their opinion and then there are those who don’t have any or don’t bother to share even if they have. The second kind are more pernicious as they work under the surface and might prove harmful, whether at work or within the families…that has been my experience. Of course there are exceptions!

      It is nice to come across different opinions and I am glad we have this platform to share them. Thank you for being such a great friend. Stay blessed and be happy. 🙂

  3. I so agree, dear Balroop. There is the pernicious idea abroad in pop-psychology that judgements are necessarily a bad thing; yet the human brain evolved so as to form judgements as a survival mechanism, and we cannot simply abandon them as some disingenuous self-help gurus would have us believe. As St. Augustine suggested in his famous maxim, we can judge the immoral thought or deed of another, yet we ought not judge and condemn the thinker or doer of the deed as a result. So there’s an important distinction there, one which allows for judgement, yet which retains harmony amongst people in not personalising the judgement as if the immoral deed or thought were synonymous with the subject issuing it.

    1. Hi Hariod,

      My culture has always emphasised that judgments are good and therefore we learned very early in life to have opinions and express them. I remember very clearly how my aunt expressed her displeasure at various aspects of my behavior, saying don’t do this and put the volume down and learn to laugh…Though I disliked her but the quiet message that got passed was that it is ok to judge…once upon a time!!

      The resentment to passing personal comments must be a few years old as the notion of freedom gained momentum. Great thinkers have always been eyed with scepticism as all of them with innovative ideas were called dreamers and were scoffed at. Even immoral acts were well defined a few centuries ago.

      I appreciate the distinction that you have pointed our dear friend and thanks for that as well as sharing your insights. Stay blessed and have a nice week.

  4. Great topic, Balroop. my opinions have gotten stronger with age. My conviction is based on fact more than emotion. That’s something I’ve learned to do over the years, is measure my opinions by facts. It’s easy to get emotional and judge or opine based solely on that but it isn’t always the right approach.

    When I was younger, I was much easier to manipulate. I have experienced manipulators in my life and it’s a process to break free from it.

    Awesome topic. As a teacher you must see this a lot and you can open the young minds to different ways to look at things. I love the quotes you’ve used too.

    1. Hi Lisa,

      I can endorse what you say…your writings very clearly state that you are a person with a strong opinion. Yes, people around us teach us…let’s bless them for steeling us! Emotions do play a massive role in judging, in fact we judge only when we feel hurt, it is a natural behavior. A logical and reasoned judgement is never shared! 🙂
      Thanks for sharing your opinion. Stay blessed.

  5. Balroop, of course we all are entitled to form our own opinions on any issue, and express them too. You mentioned your sister’s case. It reminds me of a lady who told me last week that her teenage daughter and son get very touchy and always assume their parents are judgmental. Parents are of course well-wishers but with their tactless open expression of views…end up being offensive.
    I agree with arv… how people convey their opinions makes lot of difference, the ‘manner and context than actual content” and “when and how things should be conveyed” this matters a lot.

    It’s true that in this digital world, we are liable to be influenced by individual opinions of political and religious leaders…but at the same time, due to widely available knowledge on the Internet, these days no one can/should be fooled easily.

    1. Hi Alka,

      Teenagers are indeed touchy about little issues. It is due to age-related, peer group pressures. I think it is the younger generation who confuse the two words and fail to understand the intention behind the view of parents. There is no crash course for the parents to become tactful…by the time they learn, children grow up to form their own opinions 🙂

      How people get carried away by religious and political leaders even in this world of awareness is a big topic of discussion! Lets keep it for another time. Thanks for sharing your perspective. Have a wonderful week.

  6. As bloggers, we are surrounded by opinioned people. Right? For me, I like somebody w/ a strong personality ( as long as they are kind ) they MUST be kind and considerate. As far as judgmental people, well, they drive me CRAAAZY. Unless, of course, they too, are trying to build us up, not rip us down.

    Great topic, darling Balroop. x

    1. Thanks Kim…all those who pass a judgment may be harsh and insensitive yet they point out our imperfections and I admire their bold nature. All people don’t dare to do so! 🙂

  7. I recently got into a discussion on this concept on social media. I feel judgmental is a harsh form of opinion. Many people are ok with being opinionated, but they don’t like the extreme form.

    I guess it depends on the other person too as to how they take it. Many take it the wrong way…

    1. It all depends on how many emotions are involved in understanding an honest opinion, which can easily be dragged into the mire of judgment.
      You are right Alok, a lot depends on our thoughts, which often veer into negative direction. 🙂

  8. I think the difference between opinion and judgement is that opinion reflects our own beliefs and feelings where judgement is a comment on someone else’s. I love how you encourage people to have independent and well-considered opinions. It’s too easy to just go along with what our media, cultures, and families espouse. As you say, Balroop, those who have moved humanity forward are those with opinions outside the norm 🙂

    1. Hi Diana,

      All judgments start as opinions unless they are guided by laws. we have some unwritten laws, which try to blot out opinions, which could cause grievous harm to people and personalities. Freedom should touch our souls too! 🙂

  9. I try not to be judgmental unless they deserve it– Ha ha!

    Actually, if someone hurts someone else (kills, cripples, exploits) then I am judgmental.

  10. The thing is, we can’t take honest opinions if we find them negative or in contradiction to our thoughts. ‘Judgemental’ is the new fashionable word…it’s o easy to brand one with this word, so easy to get away with one’s genuine feelings. I’m not saying that being judgemental always is a good thing but, sometimes, it is… 🙂

    A nice article as always, Balroop… 🙂

    1. I like your observation Mani…the new fashionable word! Yep! we never used it when we were growing up!!
      At some stage of life I too thought being judgmental is “not good” but slowly I have learnt how beneficial it proves to be in the long run.
      Thank you for your kind words. Stay blessed and have a nice week. 🙂

  11. This is such an important topic. At times, having an opinion is being the loudest one in the room. I know I am never going to be that, but over the years, I have learned to stand up for what matters to me. We are all judgemental, but not many take the time to developed an informed opinion. It used to be fun to get students to state their opinions on certain topics, but then how they squirmed when asked to list the reasons to back up their feelings. Getting in touch with our opinions can be an incredible growth experience if we take the time to reflect on them.

    1. Thanks for sharing your view, Jeri. I like your candid confession.
      Youngsters of today are quite smart in the choice of their words and don’t like to express an honest opinion, also avoid being judgmental…quite hard to understand them! Probably that is just a phase of developmental aspect of their personality.

  12. I have often been accused of being opinionated and judgmental . . . and that’s fine with me. I do not belong to the “sheeple,” those easily manipulated individuals who vote as a block, and think in lockstep with those whose personalities are stronger and more defined than their own. My opinions may differ from most, or be in agreement with many, but they are my own judgments. Great post, Balroop, as usual. 🙂

    1. Accused? Well…that is the way of the world Joe! But it can not and should not stop us from expressing our opinion. The manipulators also understand who won’t fall into their trap and therefore avoid those with strong opinions. 🙂

      Blessed is the man who can form his opinions and possesses the courage to express them. Thanks dear friend for being a part of this discussion. Your insights are immensely valued.

  13. I do agree many of our opinions are formed while young, but also am happy to observe people evolving and changing from new information and settings. It would be “easy” to dislike people from another group of people because you never met them. I heard this from a man who before he had served in the Army, had only moved around in his own ethnic and racial group. He said he learned to trust one person at a time and now, doesn’t sweepingly dislike another race not ethnic background.
    I like schools with diversity, since many thoughts, teachings and learning patterns are promoted.
    I think some people find words which are divisive, like “judgmental” and “passive aggressive” and use them inappropriately.
    This was a great post with an open forum found in your comments. I may how gone in my own direction but I hope I portray myself as open and listening, as you demonstrate so well. Blessings, Balroop. ❤

    1. Hi Robin,

      You have given a new direction to the discussion…I agree with you that divisive views are often hurting and they need to be expressed in a responsible manner. Sometimes innocent remarks are misconstrued and therefore it is essential to respect opinions, without taking them personally.
      Thank you for sharing your view dear friend. Stay blessed! 🙂

  14. Great article. (Mabel shared it on Twitter so that’s why I’m over here :)) And a rather loaded one right now in the US. There is a lot of ‘opinions’ going around, but not a lot of fact checking and critical thinking. The media, I believe, is pretty much at the root of it all, but even smaller outlets have picked up the baton and are not looking into the issues objectively. It seems we are living in an upside down world!

    Personally, I’ve also had a strong opinion. I don’t know where it comes from! In the 6th grade (11-12 years old), we had to do a Statewide writing test and I remember very clearly getting back my marks and my opinion score was quite high! But all of this needs to be tempered with an open mind and a willingness to admit when you are wrong or don’t know something.

    Cheers!

    1. Hi Lani,

      Welcome to Emotional Shadows, I appreciate your effort. I hopped over to your lovely blog and liked the topics you have written on …each one interesting. I am glad to have found one more friend through Mabel’s kindness.

      Opinions are formed quite early in life if our emotions are not subjected to oppression and if we are not told to subdue them. Yes media plays a massive role in moulding opinions but there comes a time when we develop the ability to sift out the right from all the crap being delivered into our living rooms through 24/7 channels.

      Thank you for sharing a meaningful insight. Stay blessed 🙂

  15. Opinions matter to the people who have them. Feeling judgement and oppression, being left out because you were not thinking inside the box is not acceptable to me. I don’t ask that you walk lock step with me, or that you change your opinions to mine. I ask that you respect what I think, as I respect your right to think something different.

    It seems that lately (oh, the past couple of decades or so–lol) that people think it is not only acceptable to browbeat people to death who are not of the same mindset as theirs, but that it is their fundamental right to do so. Our society has rejected all the standards of behavior and comportment that we held years ago. Say or do whatever makes YOU feel good, and to heck with anyone else. No one is held to task any longer for doing anything, as is evidenced by the behaviors we see being excused for some while not for others. It’s time to stand up for what is right and be counted!

    At least, that is my opinion…

    1. Hi Becky,

      Believe me, I was waiting for this and you know why…I know you have spontaneously strong opinions and if a person like you doesn’t say anything,it is disheartening! Thanks for sharing it.

      I like it!! ‘Don’t walk with me’…yes! respecting an opinion is all that matters. Much of the bias would go, all these killings and many such problems would get solved only if we learn to respect the opinion of others.

      Years ago also all the prejudices and racism existed but media was not that developed and active. Awareness and instant news have exposed the hollowness of values and tolerant societies. Also availability of weapons of destruction has added to dilemma. We are living in extremely difficult and insensitive times.

  16. hi Balroop – my views on opinions are changing. I believe in my opinions and have them but also realize that I may be open to changing that opinion. Opinions are subjective and often are connected to our personal experiences and views of the world. While I may be convinced in my opinion today, I may wake up tomorrow to be easily persuaded otherwise. So, yes to opinions but also yes to open-mindedness.

    I don’t, however, endorse judging of other people or putting them down.

    1. Hi Vishnu,

      I agree…our views keep evolving, sometimes due to new experiences or due to our own mellowing down. I have changed a lot…I had a very strong opinion about forgiveness. Certain people and their actions were absolutely unforgivable but now I have forgiven them. Now forgiveness comes to my mind instantly…the moment I get hurt I tell myself…’ok I would forgive you, probably you didn’t have the maturity to react responsibly.’
      Thanks for sharing your reflections, much appreciated. 🙂

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