Keep your opinions to yourself!

One major challenge of simply trying to survive in this information age- is this screwed up part- Everyone thinking and believing that they know it all; have done it all and harboring little or absolute non-existent acceptance towards considering even a feeble possibility of the fact that, “there is and there will be something that is yet to be unraveled and understood”!

To this challenge, add the complexity of growing up in a society where you have pesky neighbors- extended families, dumb witted friends (remember the old adage- Your known by the company you keep!) and office colleagues who are working from their own positions of diminishing intelligence and insecurities- and yes, each one of these characters have an opinion- an opinion about everything and everyone else- but themselves!

Highly opinionated societies are the hallmark of societal dissonance and degradation- the more opinionated a society is, the more screwed up it eventually turns out to be, the closer and familiar synonyms with these kind of messed up places- hypocritical, autocratic, myopic and deep rooted “yes sir” culture!

As an NLP and CBT Practitioner,studying human behaviour- one key learning always has been to ensure all the time and always that we are not carrying this nonsensical burden of being opinionated, judgmental and prejudiced!

You would have come across these typical characters, who have an opinion on things and aspects like- when you should get married, to whom, when to have kids, what dog you should get, when and where you should travel, what new food you should try and why, when you should change your job, what the President of US should do, which politician is better, which political movement is right, how the world must change, why your boss is always screwed up, why you are the only shiny little angel in the whole universe and wear a comic character “save the world” tag on your dumb mind with a blinded vision! At this point your funny brain is tricking you into believing, if this is not what we should be speaking about to others, what the f**k do we speak, well, this is where the trick is, you can and must speak about all this, albeit in a mindful way sans the opinion, judgmental and prejudice laced rhetoric! and trust me that’s a big task and an ongoing learning curve for each one of us (me included).

So, how do you go about it, well here’s what works for me, if it works for you great, else seek your own heaven and until then keep your mouth shut!

One mindful and powerful way to avoid getting into the trap of sharing unwarranted opinions and shutting off being- judgmental and prejudiced, is to be an active and patient listener! This sounds simple but is very very difficult to achieve; listening to the other person without allowing your brain to race away- into creating scenarios and running ahead to conclude before you completely hear what is being said- let me tell you, this is tough and comes with practice- a lot of it- how much- well I have been practicing this for last two decades and still am a student! (you can opine-right away that I am dumb- but well that is exactly what we need to stop!)

Active and focused listening is the first step and the next one is – which is again an important one- remember it is ok and perfectly ok to say, “I don’t know- I need to check the facts and come back if you ask my opinion on or about xyz”. Do these two things and trust me you will start immediately feeling better and realise you have so much time left for yourself to learn and unlearn new things about everything and everyone around you!

Conversations always should be uplifting and enlightening, no I am not suggesting you top be some “guru” or “god sent teacher” of sorts, conversations need to be intellectually stimulating and help yourself and everyone involved, arrive at a moment and say unto themselves, “Ah ha” this is something new or fascinating, well something new to seek, understand…” this my friend is the right space to be in when striking those innocent looking, time killing conversations with people around you!

Normally people tend to mistaken these conversations for serious debates and intellectual verbal dissertation, well some of them would be, but all of them are never that way! The fact is, to be able to speak with intelligence (without being opinionated)needs more effort, energy, wisdom and technique which needs to be nurtured with every conversation!

The dangers of blabbering are more serious, they may start from initiating quarrels/ misunderstandings within workers and in worst case scenario can lead societies to mayhem believing their rulers are doing something gravely wrong and unjust (which may or may not be the case) just based on some loose opinionated blabbering- by someone whom you hold in high regard/ value (without any verifiable metrics) for reasons and opinions best known to you!- because you have been the initiator of the problem as well ( by carrying a brain which feeds on opinions rather then wisdom)!

Before I sign off, for my coffee, simple final words- listen, speak about what you know- what has been evaluated on scientific metrics- logic and when you have nothing to say- keep your mouth shut!

Hope you liked this one, keep writing in and let me know what you would like to read about next…. at Simplifylives, we are on a journey to create value – one day at a time- one challenge at a time…until next time.. ciao!