Simple word. Seemingly incredible power of influence over another persons happiness or self-esteem. But why? I’d like to really break it down and attempt to help you better understand that, firstly, another persons opinion should never have any effect on your happiness (in the broadest sense of the term), and second that not only will you never be safe from opinions, that their is a differing opinion on every single facet of life – which strengthens the idea that they shouldn’t ever hurt you.
Every person on this planet has an opinion. They are generally influenced by factors such as upbringing, race, socio-economic status etc etc. Needless to say, there is an infinite number of different influences on someones opinion – resulting in infinite opinions. What I want to highlight as the key point here is this – another persons opinion is almost completely out of your control. No matter what you decide to do, you cannot change someones opinion, or even if you do, you will always find somebody else with a negative opinion.
So next time someone has a bad opinion on you or something you’ve done or didn’t do, before just reacting, stop for a second to think. Here is another person in this world, shaped by a completely different mould to yourself. Because of this they have something negative to say. What I should also point out is every body is entitled to an opinion. If you look at every opinion you here in this way, you can think to yourself, that’s okay, they can think what they like and I can’t change that. The only thing you CAN change is your response. YOU can choose to ignore it. Or you can choose to take offense. Choose to get violent. Choose to even belittle or threaten them. Nobody forces your response, not even the person making the comment. But every choice you make you must live with the consequences. So react in a way that brings you the best results. Arguing with someone purely over an opinion is a complete waste of your time.
I know it can be really hard at first but I ask that you try it. I promise you will feel almost liberated, like a weight is taken off your shoulders. Which really isn’t that far from the truth because the feelings we have over someones opinions weigh us down needlessly. Next time someone in the lunch room says how much they hate your sports team, or thinks the Prime Minister is a moron, smile and forget about it. Freedom.