What Compels a Person to Publicly Air Their Opinions?
When did we form our opinions? Why are opinions offensive? How can we learn to think objectively?
Who knew I would become a person who likes to share everything I learn. But here I am, sharing another insight on my blog, even though I never considered myself an opinionated person.
Most of my beliefs began sub-consciously and didn’t surface until I was faced with criticism or disagreement. I couldn’t deny my knee-jerk reactions; a pounding heart, raised voice, red face, like a bull with flared nostrils. These emotional reactions are, like red flags, attached to the assumptions we believe, no matter how illogical.
Over my lifetime I had formed many beliefs simply by agreeing with something I’d heard or been taught. I’ve since learned to be consciously aware of these reactions, so I can pin point my opionionis and throw them out.
Critical Thinkers learn to judge opinions objectively. Impartially evaluating and analyzing opposing assumptions and facts. After learning about critical thinking I caught myself beginning to react to a “rude” comment but I chose to try and understand the reason behind the comment, by asking a question.
Believe it or not, some people still want to argue no matter what you say. If you’ve ever watched a debate, or a battle between two opposing viewpoints; the opponents weaknesses are pointed out, there’s a rebuttal, a defense, a counter attack, until one side wins and the other loses.
It may be more civilized than a fight to the death, but it’s still war.
When the goal is to win, rather than to see the other side, it reveals our lack of understanding.
The Battle To Be Right is Caused by Our Limited Knowledge
Belittling, accusing and insulting someones beliefs are not signs of a true, “Truth Seeker.” A person who believes they are right is implying the other is wrong. People who think they are right are no longer seeking, because they think they know.
The solution is not standing on our soap box trying to articulate our opinions more eloquently. We need to change gears and start asking questions. Thought provoking questions that give other opinionated people questions of their own.
Asking questions is the only way to find out if someone is seeking understanding or just wants to right. Asking questions is how we off-set offensive remarks and try to understand the assumptions behind them. Asking questions is the only way we gain knowledge.