- Education and Science»
- Psychology & Psychiatry
Are YOU God? I THINK NOT! Others Have Opinions and Viewpoints Just As VALID as YOURS- Get Over Yourself!
Here HE/SHE Comes, Mr./Ms. Opinionated!
Mom Kat, this is an excellent question which gives food for thought. A person who staunchly contends that his/her way is the only way can be described as woefully insecure and immature. This person seems to be threatened by those who dare to have an opinion that is different than theirs.
Intelligent, logical people are aware that there are different and varied ways of thinking and viewing things. They also know that each person has a different opinion for which he/she is entitled to. They further realize that other people's viewpoints can be just as legitimate and correct as theirs.
By impartially and unbiasedly listening to other's viewpoints, we broaden our knowledge. No one person knows everything and to believe so is totally delusional to say the least. Even so-called experts and specialists are open to other's viewpoints and analysis of things. Only an extremely arrogant person feels that his/her expertise precludes those of others.
Nevertheless, there are those who vehemently assert that their views are the only intelligent and logical ones and anyone who has the unmitigated audacity to voice a different viewpoint is often denigrated and/or pillored. These people believe that they are the arbiters regarding the opinions and viewpoints of others. In fact, these people often feel they are quite knowledgeable in their area and those who express different opinions and viewpoints are just ignorant and do not know as much as they do.
Such people thrive on control. They believe that they are worthwhile individuals only when they assert their "authority" and/or bully others into believing what they believe. These are the people who seem to be threatened and become psychologically and emotionally unhinged when differing viewpoints are discussed.
These are the people who are slavishly quoting statistics and findings often to substantiate their viewpoint. What they fail to realize that so-called statistics and findings are based upon studies of a certain population and does not include all people and circumstances. Telling such people this is analogous to a resident from East Harlem, New York attempting to convince a resident from Sutton Place, New York on that there are different and valid living styles. In other words, the latter is clearly not listening to you!
Many people who insist that their philosophy on life is the only way tend to be surrounded by yes people. They would not have it any other way. They feel most secure and comfortable being surrounded by such "like-minded" people. By being surrounded by such yes people, such highly opinionated people feel totally omniscient.
Such people do not believe in equal parity with others. Equal parity is a total anathema to these people. The main premise is that their opinions and viewpoints are superior to others by virtue of their age, educational, ethnic/racial, gender, intellectual,occupational, sociocultural, socioeconomic, religious, and/or related status. They adamantly refuse to acknowledge that every person has something valuable to add to the discussion. In their eyes, they are superior while others are clearly inferior.
As a result of such people contending that there is nothing other people can tell them, they are missing out on so much. No one knows everything and we all have something to learn from each other whether we want to admit or not. Only a foolish person thinks otherwise! Another person can show one other and/or new ideas and opinions which were never considered before.
Such people are inwardly insecure. They are actually fearful that there are other opinions and viewpoints that are just as and even more valid than theirs. Their premise that theirs is the only valid premise masks this insecurity. If they were secure in their own personas, they would realize that there are a myriad of viewpoints and opinions. No one has a monopoly on opinions and viewpoints.
Furthermore, if they were not so insecure, why would they be threatened if another person present a different opinion. Secure people do not care if people present a different prospectus to the discussion, in fact, secure people welcome and learn from such difference. However, this premise is totally fruitless to a person who believe that his/her way is the only valid one.
Such occurrences do not only occur on a minuscule scale, there are corporate and world leaders who insist that their methodology is the only correct one. They will not listen to what the other parties have to say regarding the matter at hand. A result of this are the constant wars and conflicts which are everpresent in the world today.
There is always some type of conflict, either small or large scale, because someone is always insisting that his/her way is the only way and other people's ways simply are of little or no consequence. In smaller environments such as schools, bullies insist that their way is the only way. They believe in dominance and control of others, especially those perceived to be weaker than they are.
Bullies are often surrounded by associates who yield to their methodology. They are adapt at the art of getting others to bow to their viewpoints and opinions. In other school cultures, there are cliques where there is one person who strongly assert that there is only one opinion-his/hers. If another pupil/student dares to disagree, he/she is often ostracized and excluded on the behest of the dominant group member.
In families, the mother, father, and/or both parents can assume the controlling and/or more authoritarian role in that as authority figures, they have the right to enforce their opinion and viewpoint on their children. After all, these parents contend their children are not individuals but are extensions and reflections of them. These parents want children who they can easily control and manipulate to their will. Everyone in the family must be of the same opinion in order to have and/or preserve familial harmony. Anyone who has a differing viewpoint is viewed as difficult and therefore discordant to such harmony.
Many controlling and authoritarian people want to be in always be on top. They want to be the commander who wants to tell others how to be and what to think. By being in control, they feel validated as people. They want other people to consider them to be smart, hip, and intelligent. Nothing makes such people happier than to have other people believe as they do. This makes them feel significant.
However, if others in their particular group do not believe the same as they do, they feel threatened. Oftentimes, they psychologically abuse others in order to get them to conform to their way of thinking. If that does not work, they give others the silent treatment or worse have other members of their particular group make the others' lives so miserable that they either comform to the consensus of the dominant member or be totally excluded from the group. The concept of individuality is foreign to such dominating people.
There is also an element of selfishness to those who believe that their way is the only way. It is woefully apparent that they care little for the opinions of others. It is as if the latter exists only for their convenience, nothing more, nothing less. Other people are just their sounding board and to be bent to their particular will.
Of course, there are enlightened and mature people who realize that others' opinions are just as and even more valid than theirs. They welcome and rejoice in others' opinions and viewpoints. They know that varied opinions and viewpoints make life more fascinating and interesting. By being exposed to differing methodologies, they constantly grow as people. Such people become more universalistic and open minded regarding their concepts and knowledge. They are of the school that it is absurd for one person to believe that he/she has the monopoly on knowledge as everyone has something to say and add!
In summation, there are myriad opinions, viewpoints, ideas, and methodologies as there are people. Each one has its validity. Each person has a right to his/her own opinions, viewpoints, ideas, and methodologies as long as he/she is hurtful towards and/or inconsiderate of others.
However, there are certain people who believe that their opinions, viewpoints, and methodologies are the only valid ones. These people believe that because their way is the only correct way, they have the right to enforce such upon others. They further contend that since their way is the only correct one and therefore superior, others' ways are considered to be invalid and therefore inferior.
These people oftentimes feel validated only when others recognize this and conform to their way. In fact, they feel the most comfortable and secure when surrounded by those who agree with them. Conversely, they feel threatened and become quite unhinged when others disagree with them and present their own methodologies so to speak.
However, there are people who contend that other people's viewpoints, opinions, and methodologies are just as valid as theirs. In fact, they welcome such viewpoints, opinions, and methodologies as a growth and learning process. To these people, there is no monopoly regarding viewpoints, opinions, and methodologies. They contend that everyone, no matter what their station and/or status is, has something valid to add to the discussion.
© 2012 Grace Marguerite Williams