As anyone in America has the past few weeks, I have been hearing a LOT of opinions from a lot of people.
I believe that we are all entitled to our opinions, I really do. If I didn’t, I would be the biggest hypocrite, because I have an opinion about quite literally everything. But there are some, let’s call them “opinion pet-peeves”, that I have. I have been dying to share these with others, so I figured I would take this opportunity to create a blog post out of it.
Disclaimer, though, for those of you who actually know me IRL: I am 100% aware that I am guilty of having done a couple of the things on this list. I am working on them, I truly am, and I’m hoping that once my list is out there in the universe, I will be able to keep it in mind a little better before I go running my big mouth.
Opinion Pet-Peeve Number 1: When people do not differentiate between facts and opinions
I have encountered this one a lot. I love it when I can use a piece of factual information to back up my opinions. However, I often encounter people who will try to write off a fact that I state as my opinion, before I have even stated my opinion. This is infuriating to me, because A) you are only listening to respond, and B) you are interrupting me, both of which are rude.
For example, where I live, you have to submit pay stubs in order to obtain SNAP benefits if you do not have a child. I know this because I have friends who have applied for these benefits, and have not been able to get them because they are paid under the table at their jobs and could not show proof of employment because of this. When I share this information with those who believe that the majority of people getting SNAP benefits are “lazy” and need to “get jobs”, I get a lot of comments like, “well of course the LIBERAL thinks that!”
I don’t “think” it. It’s literally how the fucking program works. It’s a fact. It is not my opinion.
Opinion Pet-Peeve Number 2: Tone of voice, interrupting, and other generally rude behavior toward someone who you do not agree with
This is something that has really been getting to me during this past week in particular. If you don’t agree with something that someone is saying, there are ways that you can convey this without becoming disrespectful. Tone of voice is a big thing for me, because it’s something that I’m particularly sensitive to. Aside from that, though, if you really want to have a conversation with someone and you actually want them to listen to what you have to say, address the person calmly and respectfully. Trust me, people are a lot more likely to listen if they don’t feel attacked or looked down upon.
Opinion Pet-Peeve Number 3: Name-calling based on a specific viewpoint
This one really gets to me. What I mean by this is making a sweeping statement about everyone from a group. For example, calling those who identify with the liberal political party as “libtards”, or calling those who identify as Republican as “mentally challenged” (just to name a couple of the multiple examples that I have seen over the past couple of weeks). It is really unnecessary. In particular, I have seen both sides throw out the term “mentally ill” when speaking about a group that they do not agree with, or saying that an opposing political party is a “mental disorder”. This especially bothers me, since there is so much discussion about what we should do about the lack of prevention and intervention for those who have mental health issues in the U.S. as of late.
Opinion Pet-Peeve Number 4: When an opinion completely disregards half of the problem
This is more-so just my personal problem with certain opinions. As I mentioned at the beginning of my post, I believe everyone is entitled to have their opinions just as they are. I get quite irritated, though, when an opinion only touches on one facet of the issue and not the other 5 that need to be considered.
Example time: what ever shall we do about all of the mass shootings happening in the U.S.? Every opinion I’ve heard goes a little something like this: “We need more mental health services!”; “We need more gun laws!”; “These damn kids just need to have more respect these days!”
Every single one of these things listed is a part of the issue that needs addressing, though. It isn’t just one of these aspects that is the sole cause of mass shootings. It is all of these things and more, combined and intertwined with one another, working together to create the problem, and we cannot just address one facet if we want the problem to actually be fixed. No issue is black and white and there is no easy answer to most things, and looking at only the part of the problem that fits your agenda is a little ignorant, in my opinion.
This concludes my list (for now). Which, yes, is largely just my opinion. A list of pet peeves about opinions that just conveys my opinions. But I do think that, if the majority of people out in this world took some time to think about the things I’ve listed above when engaging in conversation with others, the conversations would be more productive and we might start actually solving some of the problems we have been facing lately.
Also, writing this all down has felt relatively therapeutic. I’ve been having these thoughts for weeks, and knowing that they are finally heading out into the universe once I press “publish” will be such a relief. I feel like I need to seriously start posting like this more often. Plus, talking about something other than the fact that I’m single is probably healthy 😉
Sleep well loves.