Words

Opinions: Their Importance and Destructive Nature

Hello everyone, 

I am Kenedy. 

And today I will own up to one of my greatest fears here. 

Ready? 

It is having major conflict with people. 

Now do not get me wrong. I like to have conversation and respectful debates. I enjoy hearing people’s thoughts and ideas. But I wish I could handle divisive conflict without wanting to burrow and cry. 

In a world full of sin, conflict is bound to be inevitable. For we all understand and process things differently. For example, we all have our favorite movies. You could debate and argue about the production, cinematography, dialogue, action, design, and other things to prove you are right but in the end, everyone is not going to change their minds.

I have to accept that fact and accept that my opinions are not going to be liked or even respected sometimes.

Unless your favorite movie is Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King 🙂

My fear does not stem from respectful conversation but when emotions (mine included) arise and open gates for walls to build. 

There are many times we want to share our two cents, but we worry about the reaction or their understanding on the matter. As much as sharing is important, the relationship is as well. I think one of the healthiest steps a person can take is to stop and consider the other person when conversing on touchy subjects.

But sometimes it can feel like you are constantly walking on eggshells when you are with people or you try to guide a conversation to anywhere else but far away from the direction it is headed. 

Truthfully, that is a scary reality for me! As much as I value my opinions and understanding, I also do not want it to be what makes me or someone else turn against each other.

Now, we are not called to never stand up and accept everything. I do not mean we should bottle up our feelings and opinions. But we all want to be liked and loved. We do not want people making prejudices about us. Unfortunately, sharing our opinions makes biases form automatically sometimes. 

And you never know why they might feel strongly or understand something. It could be related to something personal that they immediately react emotionally. And I see myself doing this all the time. In times of assessment, I need to remember that people do not know why I am passionate about a subject. This goes both ways. I don’t know why they feel so strongly. Conversation can lead to understanding but I will never fully grasp it because I am not them! 

We all fall victim to responding in defense and with divisive attitudes because of passions, ideals, and opinions, close to our hearts. Having opinions makes us human. We all have choices. We all decide what we care about. It is important to know what you believe and are passionate about.

But there is a fine line between their importance and destructiveness. 

I’d like to quickly give a few thoughts on three areas for improvement on how we share our opinions. 

Here we go!

Source

Area 1: Introspection

First, rejoice that God gave you a mind that makes decisions and feelings that make life way more meaningful. 

Now think of what are your major passions and how you share them. Think of the root of your opinions especially in areas that seem to cause divides like politics for example. It might even help writing these down. 

I’d even suggest thinking over the last debates or arguments you were in. Take a second to see what made you angry or excited or defensive. Was it a word, a look on their face, a stance they had? 

Now think over why this opinion is important. Is it one to defend? Do you feel too strongly? Assess why you see this subject the way you do. 

Thinking and asking yourself these questions, is a way to get down to the nitty gritty (love that phrase) of your opinions.

Sometimes if your natural tendency is always to defend, it might be good to ask yourself why you immediately defend it and if it has become too personal or important.

If your tendency is to always verbally agree and never share how you really feel, ask yourself why you feel intimidated or fearful. 

My tendencies tend to be a mix of both and my conflict tends to get messy when I want to nod my head to get it over with and shout my anger at the same time. 

But putting all that aside, many times I really do not think through the roots of my opinions. I can be oblivious to others opinions, but we also can be with ours. We do not research what we claim to support, we never think back to when we started to become passionate on a matter, and we do not ask ourselves questions about them. Well, at least not enough. 

So instead of defending, ask is this worth defending! Find your natural tendencies and stop and think about them! 

Area 2: Definitions

I am a practical person. I love defining things so they can have organization and make sense. But people are not filing cabinets. They are complex images of God with changing hearts and minds. 

I am a practical person. I love defining things so they can have organization and make sense. But people are not filing cabinets. They are complex images of God with changing hearts and minds. 

I tend to instantly want to define a person instead of actually discovering how intricate and unique they are. 

I know it is easy to see what they defend instead of why they defend. It is easy to approach the conflict and find no commonality. 

My advice: do not take the easy route. 

Relationships are important and worth saving. Find how they define themselves (even if it is wrong) and see if you are “filing them” before you know them based on one opinion. 

Acceptance and understanding or two different things. You need not to agree to understand and throw your questions away (which is what acceptance does). Understanding is about willingness and vulnerability. You have to be ready to listen and be genuine. Understanding takes time but it is worth it! 

Area 3: Delivery 

Not pizza

Source

Not mail

But how you say your opinion matters.

A lot!!!!!!!

You can say something logical and accurate with still horrible delivery. 

Think of two students, who both have a speech to present. 

One mumbles through his and looks at the ground, but everything he says is correct. 

The other student is calm and interactive with the audience and speaks clearly through his speech but has a lot of misinformation. 

Not based on content, which one would be better to listen to? 

I know you know the answer and you know why. 

Now apply that to your arguments! Easy peasy! Right?

All kidding aside, you can be completely right and deliver your position completely wrong. 

I am not really speaking of mumbling and looking at the ground. I am speaking of your tone, facial expressions, and attitude. 

A lot can be said with non-verbal form of communications. 

Even in times of disagreement, you can make people feel more comfortable and you can come across as calm and kind by cutting out furrowing eyebrows, an annoyed tone of voice, or a disinterested attitude. 

Okay, I am done with being your counselor. I am learning and growing too. I DEFINITELY do not work on the areas I just mentioned enough. But if this helped any of you all or you have ways to help share your opinions and deal with conflict, share in the comments below. I’d love to learn from y’all.

Last words of advice: their opinions are attached to passions and emotions just like yours. 🙂

~ Kenedy M. 

Lord of the Rings image courtesy of Google images.

2 thoughts on “Opinions: Their Importance and Destructive Nature

  1. Kenedy, this is one of your best post yet…in my opinion!! Lol What a humbling experience to choose to mention your struggle with your own words and opinions! I’m so proud of YOU! Thank you for challenging your mother and others to look at ourselves personally in this area that can be so destructive. ‘Lord, forgive me for elevating my opinions and preferences over what matters to you and how I represent and present you to others.’ Thank you Kenedy for the reminder that God is my standard for how I talk and converse with others. Great post!!! Your best yet!! And again I say…In my opinion.💓

    Liked by 1 person

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