I think it’s safe to say, that we are living in a very opinionated age. Everyone has something to say about everything and everyone. I am all for indivduals having personal opinions based on their values and life experiences. What I am not for, is when opinionated people base their opinions on assumptions and vague generalizations, and are dismissive of others.
Have you ever encountered someone (either online or offline) who has come in guns blazing with their opinions and you haven’t even have a chance to express your views, or maybe your views are shut down without being heard by them? It’s rather frustrating, if not exhausting, trying to have any meaningful conversations with them. They are more concerned about their opinions and their sole purpose is to convert you to their train of thought.
OPINIONATED BULLIES DISMISS & BOX
I once found myself in a conversation with a group of people many years ago. Where a man said quite boldly: “I think it’s very selfish when women want to have babies.” I responded rather confused with : ” Why do you say that?” To which he responded: ” Because women only want to procreate to fill some sort of ‘maternal void’ within them, therefore making them selfish creatures!” I then responded with: “And you would know this because – you’re a woman? That sounds like a rather presumptuous opinion to me.” I think it forced him to stop for a moment and to really think about what he was saying, and how he was boxing in women with an assumption.
How often do we encounter people who do just that: Assume, generalize, dismiss, or box others according to what they presume to be true without actually seeking true knowledge, understanding or information on certain topics or issues.
HAVING HEALTHY CONVERSATIONS
Like I said earlier I really do encourage everyone to have opinions and belief systems. But what I am wanting to focus on is for us to have an opinion that is respectful of others, that is open to listening and learning from others. I am more concerned about having an open conversation with others, a conversation where we can challenge one another, learn from one another and grow in understanding together. We should be able to listen to others and their opinions without wanting to dismiss them, or feel inferior or insecure and defensive when having open conversations.
Sometimes, we won’t always see eye to eye with others, and that is okay. Sometimes, people will try to bully us with their opinions, then we need to step away and not waste our energy and time trying to convince and justify our thoughts and views with others who aren’t open to listening. Have meaningful conversations that enlighten and empower one another, avoid endless debates with stubborn people.
Let’s have the conversations that matter, that build, inspire and encourage one another. Life is too short and unpredictable to waste time having heated arguments that find no end resolve or solution.
Here’s to having more meaningful conversations in our day-to-day.