I was having a conversation with a friend on Facebook today which was sparked by a post I made. The conversation started out with us expressing our opinions about trust/lack of trust for specific people or government agencies.
Can you imagine, two adults having a mature banter that didn’t end up in name-calling and ridiculous insults?
I am always pleased when I can find someone to converse with in an intelligent way, despite disagreements and opinions.
And here’s the deal.
By the end of our exchange, I lightened my stance a bit. I know, it's a novel idea to actually let information and internal self-reflection make you a more understanding human.
I have grown up with a HEAVEY (to put it mildly) predisposition towards mistrust of everyone and everything. Much of it was brought on by being bullied as a child as well as spending 30 years of my life in a strict religious atmosphere. All of this led me to being skeptical of people’s motives. My experiences have caused me to assume that people and things are always out to get me...as if there is always some hidden agenda to take from me or coerce me into doing something I don’t want to do.
Its not a healthy thought pattern.
As the years have past and I’ve realized this pattern for what it is, I’ve made a conscious effort to be aware when I am overly skeptical, cynical, or opinionated to a point where I can’t see beyond the end of my nose.
This conversation with my friend was one of those times.
I started out being specifically mistrusting of a public figure and by the end of the exchange, I was allowing myself space to lighten up a little. Let go of the fight to draw a hard-edged opinion...because, in all honesty, I have no idea the motives of this public figure. I don’t know them in person. All I know is what I read and watch online.
Of course, I have not suddenly doled out my unwavering admiration and confidence in this figure, I don’t think I will do that for anyone. But, what I have done, is find a more healthy balance between complete mistrust/avoidance and blind faith/reliance.
My friend said, “Somewhere in the middle”.
I like that.
A “somewhere in the middle” approach seems like the best approach. I don’t think there is anything in life that is all one way or the other. Nothing is wrong or right 100% of the time. And no person is wrong or right, good or bad 100% of the time.
Plus, it's fucking hard to fight to hold onto a certain opinion all the time. It's exhausting and frustrating. I have been “proven” wrong so many times. You know what feels good? When I offer up an opinion in an open-to-change way and someone shares with me their perspective and I can either change my opinion because the new information makes more sense - OR - keep my opinion but not feel the need to have to change someone’s mind.
That stance rocks.
There are sooooooo very many opinions tossed around on the internet. People making judgments and assumptions about people, places, and ideas that they have never met, never been to, and never explored in real life or for an extended period of time.
So many of us waste so much time defending beliefs without really knowing why, without really seeking true understanding, without at least trying to see from another perspective.
It IS possible to hold an opinion and also leave space for changing your mind.
The other thing is, no one likes feeling like a total ass when they are schooled on a public forum. Having a loose, “somewhere in the middle” technique prevents you from being that brazen ass.
It’s a win-win.
No one likes a brazen ass.
Being a “somewhere in the middle” kind of person feels so much better.