After having to calm down a very heated conversation by agreeing to disagree, I realized that life is too short to get upset over the opinions of others. This past weekend I went to the birthday celebration of an ex-boyfriend. We are still friends (to an extent) and it was nice to hang out with his crew, since I haven’t done that in a while. As the night was winding down I was sitting with my girlfriend, that I went to the party with, and three of her friends. A particular subject was brought up between us which I voiced my opinion on. One of the girls in the conversation took extreme offense to my statement and immediately became very argumentative with me. The subject was something that she had personally done, and she thought my drawn conclusion on the matter was not fitting of her. First, I have to say that didn’t know she had engaged in the subject, before I stated my opinion. Second, after learning that she had, I didn’t think that she fit the profile of my generalization. Neither of those points seemed to matter much to her because she continued to argue with me. Needless to say I was totally taken aback by her aggressive reaction to my opinion.
At first I tried to explain/drunkenly argue my point with her – I’m not one to back pedal on something after I have said it- but it wasn’t getting us anywhere. So after about ten minutes of going back and forth, I decided that it would be better to diffuse the situation (or I decided I was too drunk to really continue arguing my point without wanting to punch her in the face). So I calmed the conversation by going with the, “I didn’t mean to offend you but this is my OPINION and we are going to have to agree to DISAGREE.”
It has been a very long time since I have got into a confrontation with anyone outside of my family. I can argue with my family all day and move on without a second thought, but having this kind of aggressive interaction with someone I don’t really know bothered me. I couldn’t understand why she got so offended over the views of another person, if she felt it was off base and not fitting. After considerable reflection on the conversation, I realized I was bothered by it because I am most receptive when people are open and accepting of the people they cross paths with. I was being shut down, attacked, and judged for my opinion on one small subject. I found it to be rude.
I have always understood that most people that I meet are not going to hold all the same views as myself. I would find it very boring if everyone I met thought about life the exact same way that I do. What would we all talk about if we all agreed on everything? How interesting would it really be to get to know new people, if we held the same views on every aspect of life?
When getting to know someone, it is always most interesting to learn how they see and interpret the world. I love when someone’s approach to a situation or reaction to an event is completely different from my own. It gives me another view to look at life through and opens my mind to another side of possibilities. I have always welcomed people’s opinions even when I thought they were wrong, unfounded, offensive, or just plain stupid. For me, a difference of opinion is not worth getting worked up over. One person’s view on a matter is probably not going have any effect on my own view. I personally cannot carry the weight of anger towards another person because of the way they think. Opinions come a dime a dozen and if I got upset over every opinion I didn’t agree with, I probably wouldn’t have any friends or close relationships with my family.
Going forward, I have to keep in mind that even when someone isn’t accepting of me and my views, they are entitled to that. I won’t agree with or get along with everyone I cross paths with and that is perfectly okay. You have to embrace the differences in people and appreciate the unique points of view they might bring to your life. And when that doesn’t happen you have to be able to look into yourself and realize that it’s not the end of the world. Life is way too short to get upset over the opinions of others. Always gotta keep in mind that “Opinions are like assholes; everybody has one.”