Rising Above Conflicting Opinions

Watching the news, reading a newspaper, listening to the radio, browsing your favorite social media—these things should be entertaining but wind up causing us to be stressed, to feel anger, even to feel hate. Susan noticed this within herself and in the world around at large.

“Every day I see new evidence of the growing hatred in the world. You just can’t watch or listen to the news without being reminded that there is turmoil and enmity everywhere, and that simple disputes get out of control and turn into major battles in the blink of an eye. In my opinion, what triggers these confrontations is that rather than have a different point of view from our opponents and try to reason with them, we turn too quickly to hating them because they don’t want to agree with us. We see it all the time between countries, religions, politicians, and so on all the way down to neighbors, sports fans and someone who has taken our parking spot.”

One of her favorite quotes from noted motivational speaker Zig Ziglar was, “Every obnoxious act is a cry for help.” It’s hard to avoid people being obnoxious these days. And our reactions to them can be primal. You know the feeling, you read or hear something that raises your hackles. You become tense all over, your shoulders riding up towards your ears. We think negative, critical thoughts like, “what an idiot” or “that person doesn’t know what they’re talking about” or “what an awful person.”

When you feel yourself tense up, remember Zig’s quote. Perhaps that person or group of people are being insufferable because they are unhappy or feeling lost. Most people who are very opinionated are that way because they are insecure about their opinions. While it seems like an attack on you and your beliefs, it really has nothing to do with you. It’s about that person or organization that feel they need to tread on other people to prove that they are right.

When you are comfortable in your own thoughts, feelings, and beliefs, there is no need to lash out at others. Understanding that will help you keep your peace and calm when you are confronted with vitriol by an unhappy person.