Who Cares About Your Opinion? #voicingopinions #judgment #psychology

Who hasn’t been at a party, where in one corner of the room a loud and argumentative person spews his or her opinion about every governmental or religious problem in the world? I know I have been at that party. I hate hearing anyone prattle on about everything that s/he feels near and dear to his heart and wish everyone else in the world would believe.

The issue is: who’s mind can anyone change with his opinion and where is it appropriate to give yours? Opinions laced with rancor and loud, unfettered beliefs tend to fall on deaf ears. Or worse yet, they tend to be used against the very person the opinion was meant to defy. Check out Facebook and look at all the ways negative opinions have made the speaker look like a blubbering idiot.

I tend to keep my opinions to myself, unless I’m asked. Even then, I assess the room, make sure I’m not being set up to look like a fool, and then carefully share my thoughts with the words, “I believe” or “it falls within my purview to think that…”

However, when I really want to share a thought or an opinion, I give myself an audience where I am the speaker or facilitator. I, then, invite people who would be interested in discussing this point of view. Places like the Internet group, Meetup.com, provides you with built in audiences who actually look for you to share a certain opinion. This is how I began my group: Uncommon Gay Spiritual Warriors, based on a book I wrote about the subject. The group has 130 followers in only four months. Each month, we discuss some ideas that are pertinent to the subject. No one comes to the meeting without desiring to be there.

I believe to capture a person’s attention to the point where you can change his or her mind, you must allow the person to be listening to you by his own free will. Any time I have learned something new or changed my own opinion, it has usually been at a workshop or in a place where I went to listen to a speaker or even a therapist. My mind was already in a place for change. So, I was in the mood to open my heart and allow another person’s opinion to stretch my own thought parameters.

A party is not the place to voice your opinion, unless you enjoy being ostracized. In the hall waiting for a Broadway show to start isn’t the place, unless you enjoy being escorted out of the theater by a policeman. Around the dinner table is not the place to voice your opinion, unless you enjoy stuffing your narcissism down your children’s throats. By someone’s desk at work is not the place unless you feel unemployment is a good choice for you.

Do give your opinion where it counts! Choose a place where you have invited someone to hear your thoughts and give the person the chance to leave if he or she is not comfortable with what you say! Always, I mean always, do this in a calm way using the words, “It’s is my opinion that…”

Thanks for listening.

 

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