Opinions about Opinions

May 21, 2011
Custom User Avatar
More by this author
Why do we believe what we believe? Is it because we spent careful, well-thought out time forming opinions? Sadly, that is rarely the case. What I’ve noticed in listening to opinions of people in various areas of where I live is that opinions are becoming less unique to the individual and more likely to be influenced by those surrounding you.
Now, I’m not saying that there is anything wrong with listening to what others have to say and reflecting upon it. In fact, I’m saying just the opposite. We should listen to and consider opinions of others when they are offered, but the opinions of others should not control our own. An extremely common example of this is succumbing to peer pressure. As clichéd and unoriginal as this may sound, it does exemplify my point and people fall for it more than they know. For example, when you are surrounded by a group of people who all think one way, your beliefs can be mysteriously transformed to more align themselves with those around you.
So why is it that we give up our opinions in the presence of adversity? The easy and obvious answer would be that we may be attempting to “fit in”, but I think the real answer lies deeper than that. The real answer lies in the fact that we have become afraid of disagreeing. Already, the word “disagreeing” conjures bad mental images of arguments and two sides that can despise each other. This should not be the case.
Disagreements are going to happen as long as two people have even slightly differing opinions of anything. The question remains: when did a disagreement become a bad thing? The only reason disagreeing brings up such bad mental images is in the fact that a lot of times, we simply don’t know how to disagree. When we disagree, we let it get to our heads. We fight and argue and butt heads until either one side relents or both sides end up hating each other. This cannot possibly be the best way to do this.
Honestly, what should be done is to argue with the other side, but hold on to a genuine respect for the other person’s opinion. Find where they are coming from instead of blatantly disregarding what they have to say. Listen, present your opinion, and hope they show you the same respect.
What I believe is that we should not give our own opinion up to avoid clashing with someone else’s, but at the same time, we should not be constantly attempting to steamroller over any opinion that appears to be different than ours. All that will do is bring forth someone who is unwilling to budge as well.

Post a Comment

Be the first to comment on this article!

Site Feedback