“Our wretched species is so made that those who walk on the well-trodden path always throw stones at those who are showing a new road.”
Opinions are a way for us to learn more about each other, our country, and the world we live in. However, there’s a good chance you’ve been told at some time or another that your thoughts and opinions are wrong.
In fact, we often hear from the news, social media, government officials, teachers or other people what we should be thinking and feeling. But the truth is: everyone has their own opinion, and it’s important to be able to voice them without fear of judgment or ridicule. In listening to my clients, I take a non judgmental stance and believe that everyone is entitled to their own thoughts and feelings. That’s what makes the world such a beautiful and diverse place.
That being said, it’s also important not to be afraid to have a different opinion than others. Too often, people are afraid to express their beliefs for fear of judgment or ridicule. But we know that’s not what opinions are for – they’re meant to be shared and discussed.
Opinions are a way for us to learn more about each other and the world around us.
Early conformity experiments
The Asch conformity experiments were a series of psychological experiments conducted by Solomon Asch during the 1950s. He carried out various experiments about the effects of peer pressure. Asch found that people were willing to ignore reality and give an incorrect answer to conform to the rest of the group.
In his experiments, some undercover scientists imposed incorrect answers on others. The result? When surrounded by people cited the wrong answer, 75% of the studied individuals preferred to go with the wrong answers of the majority, even if they believed they were incorrect. Asch demonstrated that straying away from the majority was a very difficult thing to do.
What are the benefits of voicing your opinion?
When it comes to having an open mind and sharing different opinions, there are several benefits that come with it.
First and foremost, when we share our opinions openly, we’re able to learn more about the world around us. We’re able to see things from a different perspective, and that can help us to understand other people and cultures better.
Second, when we share different opinions, it helps to create a more tolerant and understanding world. By opening our minds to other points of view, we’re able to see that there is not just one way to look at things. This can help to reduce conflict and tension between people of different backgrounds.
Lastly, when it comes to voicing our opinions, there is no “right” or “wrong” answer. This holds true both for personal beliefs and opinions, as well as those that relate to politics and social issues. It’s important to remember that many things are viewed differently from one person to the next – an opinion being one of them.
How to confidently express your opinions
When it comes to expressing your opinion, there are a few things you can do to make sure you do it confidently.
First, make sure you know what you’re talking about. Do your research and have all the facts and figures at your fingertips. If you don’t know something, don’t be afraid to say so – just be sure to ask someone who might know.
Second, try to stay calm and collected when voicing your opinion. Don’t let emotions like anger or frustration get the best of you – that will only make it harder for people to take you seriously.
Lastly, be prepared for backlash. Not everyone is going to agree with what you have to say, and that’s okay. The most important thing is that you’re not afraid to stand up for your beliefs and that you’re willing to share them with others.
The importance of disagreeing
It’s emotionally easier to adapt to a group than voicing an opinion that goes against the majority. However, if we all behave like a flock of sheep that only follows others, we’d probably contribute to the consolidation of totalitarianism and there would be no collective progress.
Researcher Charlan Nemeth from the University of California, Berkeley proved that jury verdicts were much fairer when one of the jurors didn’t agree with the majority. These disagreements tend to encourage the reconsideration of facts and circumstances. When someone questions the majority’s opinion, those who agree with it feel compelled to gather more evidence to prove their point of view. And this is a positive thing.
How to deal with people who don’t agree with you
When it comes to voicing your opinion, there will always be people who disagree with you. And that’s okay! Everyone is entitled to their own opinion.
If someone doesn’t agree with your opinion, the best thing you can do is have a respectful conversation and listen to what they have to say. You may learn something new, or you may even change your mind.
It’s important to remember that differing opinions are what make the world interesting and diverse. So don’t be afraid to share your thoughts – everyone will benefit from hearing them!
What to do if you don’t agree
When it comes to other people’s opinions, it’s important to be respectful. Even if you don’t agree with someone, it’s important to listen to what they have to say.
By being respectful, you’re not only showing that you value other people’s opinions, but you’re also teaching others how to do the same. And that’s a valuable lesson that will serve them well in life.
How to handle being judged for your opinion
People are entitled to their opinions, but that doesn’t mean you have to accept any kind of judgment you receive for having them. If someone believes your beliefs are wrong or harmful, tell them why they’re not. You don’t have to agree with everyone’s opinions – and it’s okay if they don’t agree with yours.
If someone continues to be judgemental after you’ve shared your reasons, it’s important to walk away and take care of yourself. You should never allow anyone to make you feel bad about who you are or what you believe in – ever!
It can be difficult to stand up for your beliefs, especially when you know someone doesn’t agree with them. But if your opinion is important to you, it’s important to voice it in a respectful way.
You may not change anyone’s mind by sharing your opinions, but you can definitely teach others how to do the same. After all, the more we practice expressing our opinions respectfully, the better we get at it. And with practice comes confidence!
Just to recap:-
1. Listen to others’ opinions
2. Share your opinion, but be respectful
3. Ask questions about the other person’s opinion and listen for their response
4. If you disagree with someone, don’t argue or criticise them – just share your reasons why they are wrong
5. By teaching kids to respect differing opinions and practice voicing their beliefs, you’re helping them become more well-rounded, accepting individuals. And that’s something everyone – can benefit from!
At the end of the day, voicing your opinion is what makes this world so incredibly diverse and interesting. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with having an opinion that differs from someone else’s – in fact, it can help us all learn more about each other and grow as people.
When it comes to voicing your opinion, remember these three things: make sure you know what you’re talking about, stay calm and collected, and be prepared for backlash. Your thoughts and opinions matter just as much as anyone else’s – so speak up!
Fiona Craig is a life coach, psychotherapist, business mentor, and published author of the award winning self-help book, “Stuck in a Rut – How to rescue yourself & live your truth” helping women remove the fear, worry and guilt to confidently take the steps towards creating the life they want to live.
Fiona has been interviewed by The Australian Women’s Weekly, Women’s Fitness Magazine and The New Daily and written articles for Collective Magazine, Herald Sun Melbourne, Sunday Life Magazine, Career One, I Am Woman Magazine, plus Mouths Of Mums and other online publications. You can learn more about working with Fiona at www.lifebalancecoach.com.au or call 0405 433 217.