Have you ever heard someone talk about something and immediately been turned off?
Maybe they are yelling? Or a little too passionate or seem extreme? A little delusional almost. No compromise. No listening, just matter-of-factly stating their astute “super right” opinion and forcing you to just nod or walk away for fear of starting a confrontation. Just me? Cool.
I have had this sort of unspoken rule for myself most of my life. If you’re super opinionated, I just can’t trust you. Something is off with you if you don’t leave room for perspective, understanding, or at the MINIMUM just hearing someone out. genuinely.
I mostly just hate speaking when I feel like the person isn’t listening.
I think in return for me feeling this way I tend to be what they call a devil’s advocate in most debates. My girlfriend probably both hates and loves this about me.
What are the biggest debate topics right now..
“God is real 100%, “ but I say, “eh, can’t prove that unfortunately.”
“Abortion is wrong,” but I say, “Isn’t forcing someone to create something they don’t want wrong?”
“Capitalism is the way,” but I say, “That’s how the poor stay poor and the rich get richer.”
“Socialism,” but then I ask, “Won’t the lazy take advantage of the high achievers and become demotivated?”
“Stealing is not right,” but I ask, “What if you’re starving?”
“We all need more guns for protection,” but I say, “That’s nice to have, but it’s also scary to see everyone rocking a gun.”
The list goes on.
There’s a lot of stuff to fight about. As a society, I think having to choose one side has caused issues for us. I.E. Republican, Democrat. And the more we feel not listened to, the louder we get. The louder we get, the more polarized we are. And things tend to get negative at that point.
As someone usually in the middle, I’ve sometimes thought over my life and wondered if that makes me someone who doesn’t have anything to say. Or I have no real beliefs of my own. Our current society (to bounce off the political party example) will have you believe that we have to be far on one side to get what we want. For the time being, that’s true for political parties, unfortunately, but in general, what I’ve learned over the past few years is that this isn’t the case. I almost always see BOTH sides of every situation, but usually somewhere in the middle are my true feelings and what I would do in certain situations. I honestly think this is where MOST people actually fall, but then why are so many of us opinionated??
Well, according to my research, scientists say the brain’s job is to protect us. When people present ideas that go against our core belief (which in my opinion usually stems from how we were raised and in what type of society), the brain treats these ideas as if they are a personal attack, therefore causing us to act in ways that seemingly protect us from harm.
Scientists like Jonas Kaplan, Ph.D. is a scientist involved in an experiment that studied the brain and how people respond to challenges to their core beliefs. Kaplan says, “It is well known that people often resist changing their beliefs when directly challenged, especially when these beliefs are central to their identity.” I mean that makes sense, you’re telling someone the way they live is wrong or incorrect. Change is not easy. Especially as you base your identity around it.
Inmy experience, these triggered folks, either will intimidate you to the point that you become submissive, or they will so infuriate you that they hijack your ability to think clearly and respond rationally. I quickly learned in my life that I don’t like to be angry or let others get me angry (most of the time they enjoy it anyways) so I tend to just be like “okay, interesting.” And let them talk.
The truth is being opinionated obviously doesn’t make someone untrustworthy.
But, for people like me, it’s just a big turn off, and it doesn’t make it easy to communicate with them. That tends to leave a negative or nasty taste in people’s mouths. Let’s take a look at why some people think strongly opinionated people are negative. on Quora.
“We humans are social creatures and we seek others with similarities to us to form bonds with, but for a lot of people, it may not be so much the other person being ‘over opinionated’ that is the fault, it could actually be an inwards issue — that you yourself desire people who are mostly in agreeance with you, otherwise you don’t like them for having their own opinions, and so therefore you label them as ‘over opinionated’ and those who tend to agree with you as ‘good friends’”
“Because they usually are direct and to the point, many times they are passionate and that energy can come off as “in your face” why gets interpreted as agressive.”
“Strongly opinionated people are often considered as negative because they do not listen to others and don’t consider other opinions. They also have a tendency to negate any other input, especially if this might be perceived to be contrary to their opinions.
The biggest problem is their pride as the come across as arrogant know-it-alls, who often prove themselves foolish. This fact appears because their information is almost always skewed by exaggerated or inaccurate truths.”
“To paraphrase a famous poem: We stand in a negative circle and noisly suppose/while positivity sits in the middle and quietly knows. “
Why thank you Carol.
As someone who’s in the middle, I personally just wish and hope for a society that starts to listen more to gain perspective and hear what others may be going through and what they are saying before we throw our opinions rashly and passionately.
I’ve never had a conversation where I couldn’t help at least see the other person’s perspective a little bit.
I most of all think that being extreme isn’t a way to get someone to see your perspective. Most of the time we are closer to agreement than we think. More empathy and listening. So we don’t have to argue so much. Part of the problem with the current world is the lack of listening and perspective and extreme opinions. Can we all be better? GEEZZ!!
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