Thanks for coming back time and time again to read what I have to say! This week we’re talking the topic of opinionated friends! And, more importantly, how to share your own opinion with them when they tend to only want to hear one side. Especially in a world so politically and socially divided, how can we navigate these awkward situations?
Question: How do I share my honest opinions with my friends? (they don’t tend to be very open to other people’s opinions and they might not even agree with my opinion and cause drama)
Answer: In this day in age, everybody wants to share their opinion but nobody wants to listen. When it comes to friends, it can be even more difficult because there are emotions and relationships at stake. You want to be able to have fruitful conversations but not get trashed on if your friends don’t agree. While some friend groups can manage this difficult feat, it takes a very high level of maturity which not many people have in high school.
Without interacting with maturity, your friends will be quick to shut down your opinions and you’ll conversely be quick to judge theirs and to get mad at them for shutting you down. Because of this, it can be a lot easier to just leave controversial issues out of your friend group’s conversations. It sucks but if you know your friends can’t listen to you with respect then they might not be the right people to have serious conversations with. However, don’t feel that this is the only option. There’s a chance that you could talk to them and tell them how you’re feeling and that you’d appreciate them hearing you out and not being so quick to attack. Who knows, they might listen to you and you’ll all be able to have more mature conversations moving forward! This might not work if you have stubborn friends but hopefully, they’ll be up for it so everyone can advance their conversational skills.
Another problem that sparks this issue is simple close-mindedness. It’s not uncommon to think that your opinion is right, that everything you’ve read is credible, and everyone else’s opinions are based on lies and just stupidity. But, you’ve got to change this perspective if you want your friends to do the same. If you immediately trash on their opinions, can you really expect any less the other way around? Respect is a two-way street so to have a mature conversation both parties must be willing to listen and at least consider the other person’s points. This is also much easier to do if you broaden your own knowledge by reading information from both points of view. Knowledge truly is power. If your friends see you’ve done your research they probably won’t immediately shut you down versus if you have no credible information to back yourself up.
As always, I hope these suggestions helped! Let me know what you think and go here to submit your own questions!