Why You Shouldn’t Ask Onlookers to Back Up Your Opinion

Picture yourself witnessing a heated debate between two acquaintances.

As the conversation rages onward, their disagreement seems to keep swelling. Feelings are getting involved, and both people fear their opinion being labelled as wrong by others. In your comfortable state of being an objective onlooker, you’re free to think what you want of the disagreement in front of you. You’re impartial to the two polar opposites in the situation at hand. As you continue to analyze the disagreement between the two in front, one of them turns to you and looks you in the eye. “Can you back me up here?” they vehemently ask you.

How would you feel in a situation such as the one above? The person who asks you to back their opinion would be attempting to use every tool in the toolbox to win against those they debate. They’d put pressure on you, and serve to throw you into a disagreement you didn’t want to be a part of. Should you refuse their plea, there will be a high chance that they get upset with you. There is therefore no winning in the situation you’d be placed in. The individual in question would  thereby force you to hurt someone’s feelings.

This article is about not being the person who asks for backup of an opinion.

It is written to encourage you to never explicitly ask people to agree with you. The goal, should be for you to focus solely on presenting your opinion so people are enticed to agree, rather than be forced to.


A Loser’s Opinion Is Difficult to Back

The desire to explicitly ask someone to back your opinion, signifies that your points haven’t implicitly enticed your audience to agree. Since nobody else would be explicitly backing your opinion but you, those you ask for backup from won’t want to join you on the lonesome symbolic island which you inhabit. They’d perceive you to be losing the argument or opinionated disagreement that you find yourself in. You’d serve to highlight just how lonesome you are with your opinion by utilizing explicit questions such as, “Aren’t I right?” or, “John agrees with me, isn’t that right John?”

People won’t want to join you in holding the same opinion if there’s a clear lack of interest from your audience to agree with you. You’d find yourself under the spotlight which shines on those who are perceived to be wrong. Dragging someone into that same spotlight would be unfair to that individual. They’d resent your act of directly asking them to back you up, and may even surprise you with the refusal to agree with whatever your opinion is.


An Onlooker’s Voluntary Intervention Is a Powerful Tool

A thing you’d limit yourself from experiencing if you are to explicitly ask for back up, is the chance of those same onlookers choosing to back you up on their own merit. Even if your inquiry into their approval of your opinion returns an agreement you sought, it wouldn’t be as powerful as if they were to voluntarily voice their agreement themselves.

In an effort to have your opinion be accepted by those you disagree with, do yourself  the favor of simply focusing on presenting what you believe to be true. It seems that onlookers are more enticed to agree if there is no attention placed on them before their voluntary decision to agree with any one stance. Rather than being shoved into the spotlight, they’d voluntarily step in. If they choose to back you up on your opinion, that backup would be worth much more than if you were to ask them to back you up yourself. In such a case, your opinion would hold the power to entice someone to back it, rather than that credit being wasted on an explicit verbal plea for backup.

Strive to have your opinions be backed by others voluntarily, rather than throwing a lasso around them and hoping they agree. Onlookers of your disagreements with others don’t owe you an agreement, and do not have any stake in the disagreement you find yourself seeing red in. Remain calm, present your opinions, and ignore those who choose to not back you on those opinions. If they do choose to back you, you’d be witness to an effective push for your opinion to come out on top.

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Disclaimer of Opinion: This article is presented only as opinion. It does not make any scientific, factual, or legal claims. Please critically analyze all claims made and independently decide on its validity.