This morning I was listening to a talk show discussing opinions and judgement of others. It reminded me of what my father has always told me… “Opinions are like bellybuttons, everybody has them. They are also worth what you pay for them which is usually nothing.” That has resonated with me my whole life and listening to the talk show this morning brought it back to the forefront of my mind.
So many times we ask for an opinion for a friend, colleague or family member. When that happens, are we really asking for their genuine opinion or are we just asking them to agree with ours and possibly seeking praise? Yes, there are absolutely times when we seek out a genuine opinion of a subject, I’m not saying this is an all or nothing discussion, but generally if I ask “how do I look” I do not want to hear, “You look like crap or that’s the ugliest outfit I’ve ever seen.” This is the age old joke about the wife asking if a dress makes her look fat and the universal husband answer is “No”. It doesn’t matter if the dress is ten times smaller than the wife, but there is no reason to be hurtful. A smart husband will usually answer “Maybe a different color or pattern would work”. The same opinion gets across, he doesn’t like the dress, but in a less hurtful way.
Not everyone will agree with this, but words can hurt and you can never take them back. Physical wounds heal and a scar may remain, but you can never “un-experience” something and words can be heard differently than they were meant to be spoken.
I challenge you to pause before passing judgement and the same when offering an opinion. Is it necessary? Will your words or actions be hurtful and unable to be repaired? Are you speaking out of anger? Jealousy? Resentment? or is your opinion heartfelt, and coming from a good place? It is not our place to judge others, we may have an opinion of a persons actions or words but it is just that, our opinion. Of course speak up when you see wrong being done. Don’t sit back and let others get hurt, but question your motives and make sure your behavior is of a genuine nature. The way we speak to our children, our spouses, our extended family and friends shows what type of people we are the character we have. How do you portray yourself and how do others view you? Remember, our children are always watching, listening, learning and many times repeating our behavior including how we treat others and speak to them.
SIDE NOTE: It is my opinion that if a person is continuous in a behavior or mindset that you don’t approve of or wish to partake in, than leave the situation or detach from that person. You only go have but one life to live, choose happiness and peace of mind. My personal rule for things such as social media is a three strike rule. If I have friends that post three negative comments in a row or comment three times about an issue sensitive to me, I unfriend or unfollow them. That is not me saying “I don’t want your friendship”, it is me saying “I don’t want your opinion” so I choose to not read about it. It is anyone’s right to post their opinions ans feelings, we do not have to agree but we also do not have to participate. Surround yourself with positive attitudes and positive people whenever possible.
Love yourself, love others, and have a happy day.