Opinions are not absolute truths. Learn to take them with a grain of salt, and don’t lose sleep over the harmful words of others.
Eleanor Roosevelt once said, “No one can make you feel inferior unless you let them.”
But whether or not you believe it, other people’s opinions will always affect you in one way or another.
One of the biggest mistakes that people often make is to think that their thoughts or assessments make up an absolute truth. And if they do this, they use them to “classify” or look down on others, which makes this an even more complicated situation.
We all have the right to defend our opinions, but you should never take them to the point where a personal opinion becomes a sentence to someone else.
Just as we need to be careful about our opinions, you also can’t let other people’s criticisms or thoughts affect you.
Wolves don’t lose sleep over the opinion of sheep, because they are strong and know their virtues and strengths. They never let themselves be influences by the flock. So let’s take a look at this.
Don’t lose sleep over harmful opinions
Harmful opinions, the ones that have the power to most affect you, usually come from someone you are close to, who means a lot to you.
Over the course of your life, you are going to have to face several judgments and criticisms from everyone around you. These come from people that form your most intimate social circle.
- According to psychologists, most sources of suffering in parent-child relationships—even romantic relationships—are caused by judgments or opinions that, at some point, someone close to us makes about us.
- A belief or an opinion. This is something that people cling to because they think it’s true.
- Once an opinion is formed and “launched” in a conversation, it oftentimes becomes a source of conflict.
Here are some examples:
“You’ll never amount to anything,” “You’re so insecure that you’re destined for failure,” “You’re not going to be able to lose weight because you’re always going to be obese.”
These types of opinions are what most affect one’s self-esteem. The truth is, the beliefs held by strangers, or people we’re not close to, don’t really mean that much to us. But this changes when you’re close to the individual.
I will not let your opinions weaken my self-esteem
At some point or another we’ve all had to face hurtful comments that someone spits out during a family dinner. In order to prevent conflict, we generally stay quiet, fake it, and hide our anger.
Every opinion out there forces us to reflect as to whether or not it is true. But what you should do is keep the following advice in mind:
That opinion…does it define you, or not?
You don’t need to immediately react defensively. First you need to learn how to listen and then, afterwards, calmly analyze this opinion.
- It’s possible that a friend or family member is telling you the truth, but you don’t see it at the time. “I think your relationship is making you unhappy,” “I don’t think you’re behaving appropriately,” “I think you’d be happier if you changed jobs”…
- Calmly reflect on these comments. If you think it’s true, maybe you should accept their thoughts and thank them for sharing.
But if this opinion is false, or inappropriate, then it doesn’t define you. Then you’ll need to rationalize the comment and avoid negative emotional reactions like anger, rage, or sadness.
If you have let the opinion define you, just let it go. Don’t waste your time or health on something that doesn’t benefit you.
Foolish and empty opinions fall on deaf ears
Things that make you mad, that fill you with rage, make you their captive. If there are generally a lot of judgments and harmful opinions in your family, reacting with rage to defend yourself isn’t going to help you much.
- You may end up doing this time and time again, but just remember that people that say things with hurtful intentions do not have the gift of empathy, and have even less respect.
- That’s why, in order to avoid harboring more negative emotions, it’s best to distance yourself from them, to protect your self-esteem and your integrity.
When you are clear about who you are, what’s important, what you have achieved, and what you deserve. Don’t get upset about stupid and untrue opinions that other people dump on you. Refuse to be a victim.
Wolves, for example, are territorial and prideful animals. They clearly understand their nature and their instincts. They rarely let themselves be domesticated, and they rarely forget their roots and strengths.
Nature is wise and it’s always a good idea to learn from it. This will help you take care of your own truths, your own identity and self-esteem.
Foolish opinions fall on deaf ears.