Opinions play a role….but not always
Recently, I was thinking about the role that opinions play in our lives. People ask our opinions as they are trying to work through issues. We seek input when we are trying to make something the best that it can be. When we can’t quite figure out how to get to an ultimate goal, we often ask others opinions to help us make final decisions. When used in constructive ways, they are helpful in guiding us along life’s path, as we make course corrections that are often necessary. I see this alive and well every day in the Bring Smiles to Seniors program, at work, in social environments and even at home. Then there are times when we have to question ourselves whether or not our opinion is really necessary.
There are those that feel that their unsolicited opinion is required on everything they encounter. Whether asked for or not, something within them causes them to need to “give their two cents” when it wasn’t solicited or warranted. They have no idea the history behind something that was done or the reason things are being portrayed a certain way. Nor do they take time to ask questions to try and understand better. They simply tell one exactly what they think should be done, simply because they feel that way. Their opinion wasn’t asked for or required. However, to fulfill some need within themselves, they felt they had to provide that opinion to make themselves feel better. Unfortunately, those opinions can result in consequences that affect far more than just they.
In ways we have become a society where it is in fashion to tear someone down rather than build them up. Instead of taking the time to ask the right questions and learn from each other, we simply provide our opinion, whether valid or not. There is a simple solution, an easy way to make an opinion matter. Simply ask if it is even wanted in the first place or present it simply as “food for thought”. It makes the receiver far more receptive to the opinion rather than simply stating an opinion and advising the receiver that the opinion should be implemented, even when we have no background knowledge.
One of my close friends is very good at this. She may say, “I have a different perspective that I would like to share with you if you are interested” or “I want to run something by you to see what you think”. That often sets a more comfortable playing field for the conversation that will ensue. When provided in the right way, opinions can be an important part of our life. They are often what makes us better, as they cause us to think in ways we may not have even considered. However, they should never be provided with the ultimate expectation that only the giver is right and that the person on the receiving end is going to follow your suggestion simply because you said so.
Mornings with Ron is available as a podcast at anchor.fm/morningswithron or on iHeartRadio, Apple or Google podcast, Spotify or most podcast sites.