Opinions are like assholes. Let me explain
It is important that my opinions are heard but it is more important that others agree with them. I cling to my opinions like a solider clings to his rifle entering a cavernous enemy hideout. I’ll be honest; I’ve never invaded an enemy hideout as a member of the armed forces, hell, I’ve never even been in a fist fight, but I can safely assume the tightness to which the aforementioned solider would be holding their gun.
Why do those of us that care, care as much as we do. Is it the need to be right? Do our egos need validating? For me to be honest it comes from a lack of self-confidence. If I can convince someone of my belief or opinion then that for me is victory. Put a big old check in the box labeled; what Todd thinks is better than what you think.
Validation has been achieved and I can now go searching for my next victim.
I do spend a fair amount of time vocally making my arguments, but a vast majority occurs in my head. Every second without fail, the thoughts come fast in furious into my mind. The same mind that powers the V8 turbo charged OCD engine that sits right between my hypothalamus and the corpus callosum. Here is a diagram if it helps to visualize.
I get especially triggerd when someone has, in my mind wronged me. Sometimes it can be as simple as doing something different then how I would do it, you know, aka, the wrong way.
Immediatley court is in session inside my head. Imagine something like the movie Inside Out or the show Herman’s Head. You have the plantiff on one side, let’s say it’s some asshole in line at Chipotle with a list a mile long of his co-workers orders.
So you got this one fucking guy holding up the entire line mumbling something like, “let me see I think Sally wants, brown rice, but she usually gets white, let’s just go with brown rice, is the pork resonsible raised? Sally only wants responsibily raised pork, unless you know the name of the pig who gave it’s life for this delicious meal you better just give me the veggie bowl.” Thirty mintes later he is finished with Sally’s order and is ready to begin with Fred’s.
Now on the other side you have, me. Stanchly defeding the rights of Chiptole goers everywhere. I’m a caped crusader against inconsiderate bastards everywhere. So I stand in line, huffing and puffing, saying things under my breath loud enough that I know he is hearing me but soft enough I can still have plausable deniabilty.
The thing is, it may very well drive me nuts for several hours later. I may not be consciously thiking about it but my level of pissy-ness gets yanked up a few notches. Yes, just because some guy had the audicity to make me wait an extra 10 minutes in line.
Was it really worth fucking up the the next hour or 2 of my day? Would it be better if we could just notice when these moments happen and remind outselves of the negative consquences? Before I engage in destructive mental chatter I need to ask myself, “Will this raise or lower my pissy-ness meter.”
Having to convince others and myself that my opinion is the only opinion that matters is exhausting. Much like a treadmill you expend a lot of energy but don’t actually go anywhere. All you’re left with is pain, frustration and the occasional bout with IBS.
This is not a healthy and productive way to go through life. So what do we do?
It reminds me of something my dad used to say, “Son, opinions are like assholes, we all have one but some stink worse than others.”
So when I find myself clingy to my wanting to convince others of my opinions, I remind myself of what my dad told me. I too have an asshole and I’m sure it stinks, but I have no interest in finding out if the other guy’s stinks worse.