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.

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Balroop Singh.

 

 


 

How To Detach From Toxic People Who Are Unavoidable

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Toxic people are all around us. They meet us in the form of friends, family members, colleagues and neighbors. They may not consider themselves to be toxic; they can meet you most warmly and even can be good friends.

They focus on themselves; they are obsessed with their own pains and pleasures and are always on a look out for a person who falls an easy prey to their ambitions.

Some of them are highly toxic; they spit their venom all the time while others are endurable. But difference in their degree doesn’t make them any pleasant.

While I write this, two persons come to my mind.

One was so good and fun loving that I was surprised to see her negativity when I met her after a gap of ten years. She was a very dear friend who was also my classmate. I knew her well; we had spent six years of our life together. What had changed her so much?

When I tried to analyze, I could understand that it was the toxic atmosphere of her home and the attitude of the person whom she had married, which had metamorphosed her into a toxic person.

I tried to help her see the positive aspects of her disappointments but couldn’t do much as she had fallen into the deadly abysses of pessimism.

The second one met me as a colleague, who claimed to be my friend but was the fiercest rival. She would shift all the blame, criticize every sane looking person, take even a casual remark personally, think that nobody could do any job better than her and manipulate each and every person and situation.

Have you met such people? Can you recognize their traits?

“Watch out for the joy-stealers: gossip, criticism, complaining, faultfinding and a negative, judgmental attitude.” – Joyce MeyerToxic People

If they happen to be in our families, it becomes very difficult to maintain distance from them.

They may not just wallow in self-pity and talk negative; they want our attention; they expect sympathy and try to influence us.

“We would do ourselves a tremendous favor by letting go of the people who poison our spirit.” –Dr. Steve Maraboli

How to detach?

Ignore them:

Wherever you happen to see them, the best option is to avoid them. If they don’t get your signal, don’t respond to their overtures of establishing any contact with you. If they become overbearing, there is no harm to tell them candidly that you don’t want to hear any gossip or negative talk. They might feel hurt but there is no need to feel guilty because this is the only way to close your door and convey that they need to mend their ways.

Never argue with them:

As Mark Twain said, “Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level”, similarly If you try to point out to toxic people that they are being unreasonable, you would be wasting your breath. Toxic people move in a straight line, their own line of make-believe. They never deviate from that path as it is always against their self-esteem. They don’t believe in respecting the opinion of others. If you try to challenge their beliefs, they can harm you inconceivably.

Keep your distance:

It is better to maintain some distance if they happen to be your colleagues, more so if he/she is your boss. Be cautious because they would try to provoke you, take advantage of you or assign you their own work too. They may even try to belittle you if you don’t respond to their unreasonable demands. Don’t get intimidated by their behavior. Face it and send the message that you are not going to take it.

Don’t feel guilty:

I have eliminated all the toxic people out of my life. It took many years to reconcile to the fact that they were toxic, it caused immeasurable pain to let go, the guilt lingered on for many days but it brought greater freedom and peace. It also brought the realization that when we cling on to certain people who are not adding any value to our life, who keep on pushing us down and shifting the blame of all their failures on us, who keep feeding on our goodness, we lose a part of our personality. We start doubting our selves.

Wish them well:

When you detach, stop thinking about them, have positive wishes for them in your mind, which would surely reach them. If they are the family members, they might consume a large chunk of your time and energy. Don’t let them gnaw at your emotions. Just accept the fact that they are not worthy of your love and concern.

Do you know such people? How do you deal with them?

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Thank you for your support. Please share your valuable reflections, they are much appreciated.

Balroop Singh.

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