In looking to spread what we discover truth to be, we tend to get lost in a quest to make an impact on as many as we can.
How impactful your dialogue is will correlate with how many individuals your thoughts spread to and become adopted by. However, getting lost in the size of your desired audience will entice you to overlook how you treat single individuals in day to day life.
In an effort to increase how spreadable and impactful your truth is in life, you’ll scour for tips and tricks provided by people who claim to have more command of truth than you.
You’ll see people cite scientific studies behind the statements they make, you’ll notice others use perceived authority to drive their points home, and there will be some who have powerful individuals back them up in the things they say.
People’s social media pages will have a “PhD” following their names, and their profiles will be followed by expects in the field. They’ll have authority and they’ll have experience. Their words will seem impactful and influential, and they very well may be.
Playing the game of spreading your discovered truth to the world will seem like a daunting task. Remember though, when dealing with the average population, getting lost in attaining a label of “fact” behind your words can be costly and unnecessary.
This article hopes to present the power of labeling your statements as opinions. In conjunction with that goal, letting go of the desire to take command of “truth” is explored.
Opinions feel small and unsubstantial. People hesitate to label their opinions as precisely that because they fear it signifies a sort of weakness. These perceptions of opinions are precisely what make them powerful in their ability to influence.
Below, are points to keep in mind when you’re hesitant to label something you say as merely an opinion.
Truth Is Guarded, Opinions Float Under the Radar
The concept of truth seems to be one which people feel obligated to take seriously and guard against deception. Their desire to do so is beneficial to society at large, and it is in no way an immoral desire.
Naturally however, your claims at possessing a certain truth others don’t yet possess will be vehemently picked apart. People’s guards will stand erect as soon as you say you know something for certain. The protectors of truth’s legitimacy will not only seek to verify your claims, but they’ll seek to pick apart your history, experience, character, and mistakes.
Human nature makes its mark in even those who pledge to protect truth without allowing their biases to have a voice. A frustrating part of expressing what you’ve discovered truth to be, are the actions of those who judge you being backed by very human feelings, intuitions, experiences, and assumptions.
In an effort to bypass truth’s guardians for the sake of spreading your ideas to the world, you’ll need to ask yourself what the label of truth means to you in your situation.
Is it worth going through the process of attaining the “truthful” stamp of approval? Are you willing to have your claim at truth be stringently tested prior to being accepted by others? Is it worth stalling your progress in influencing those around you for the sake of getting the approval of those who guard the label they call truth?
These questions are yours to answer. Know however, saying the thing you believe to be true but labeling it as your opinion will serve to bypass the guardians of truth for the price of never having your opinion be labeled as true.
How much do you value having your opinion be labeled as truth?
The adoption of opinions, as you’ll see below, is not hindered by them not being labeled as truths. Your opinions can still make their mark on others’ thoughts and behaviors.
We constantly go to our parents and mentors for advice which is backed by their opinions. We change our behavior based on their opinions, and we even make life decisions based on an opinion we may hear from someone we respect.
The point in question, is whether you seek to label your opinions as truth.
The guardians of truth, as this article refers to them by, are seldom single physical individuals who decide what to label to be true. These “guardians of truth” seem to live within us all.
As someone begins to make a claim at truth, it seems that all of us have a desire to test whether or not they’re right. A claim at truth seems to be an elicitor of barricades, shields, and sometimes swords in the minds of all.
By labeling your statements as opinions, you get through the gates of perception with a regular pass rather than one labeled “VIP.” The important thing to know however, is that you’ve made it through the gates of others’ perception with fewer hurdles. By labeling your statements as opinions you trade in the desire to label your statements as facts for the ability to influence those who find their own truth in your opinions.
What you do once you’re beyond the gates of people’s perception matters most. Labeling your statements as mere opinions seems to get you through those gates smoothly and effectively.
Wrong Opinions Are Punished Less Than False Claims of Absolute Truth
Your statements will sometimes be wrong. The assumptions you operate with, the limited experience you have, and the biases which infect your thinking will make their mark on your expressions. You’ll be proven wrong in life, and others will seem to celebrate proving you wrong.
Opinions seem to be easier to prove wrong than people’s absolute claims at truth. Opinions however, are punished less when they’re proven wrong compared to a person’s incorrect claim of knowing the absolute truth.
By labeling an opinion as clearly so, you prime your audience for the fact that it very well may be wrong, and that you accept / understand that fact.
Your understanding of your opinion possibly being untrue / wrong entices those who listen to exhibit a certain understanding which isn’t there when you make a claim at truth. That understanding will involve respecting your act of acknowledging that you may be wrong. With that acknowledgement out of the way, those who listen will feel less pressure to prove you wrong.
In a seemingly counter-intuitive series of events, your acknowledgement of your opinion possibly being wrong seems to entice others to look for truth within it. If your opinion is in fact incorrect, the backlash from expressing an incorrect opinion will be nothing compared to making a claim at truth only for that claim to be disproved.
By labeling the statements you make as opinions, you would already present them as neither being true nor false. If they’re proven to be false, the fall from that middle place is shorter than the fall from advertised truth to proven falsehood.
You Shine Brighter When Others Don’t Expect You to Shine
If your opinion turns out to contain truth within it, you’ll experience greater reward from others than if your claim at truth were to be proven to be correct. By not getting others’ hopes up in the statements you make, them turning out to be true will be a pleasant surprise.
If you make it a habit to present statements as claims at truth, you’ll consistently get others’ hopes up. Even if you’re proven to be correct by the various guardians of truth, the expectation you set early on will simply be confirmed. You’ll surprise nobody in your presentation of truth.
A truth masked as an opinion thereby, seems to be a powerful elicitor of respect from the audiences who hear you speak. The humility you show in labeling your correct statements as opinions keeps your audience’s expectations low. As they go on to realize that you’re correct in the opinions you put forth, the surprise they feel along with the respect you garner from being humble will result in a pleasant reception from your audience.
One With the People: No Pedestal to Knock You Down From
A capable leader of people knows how to be seen as relatable in the eyes of those they lead. People who consistently make claims of truth can inadvertently set themselves apart from the average person listening to the words they say. Most members of the population you live among don’t have an above average ability to access to truth. They’re all about half wrong and half right in the things they say, do, calculate, and think.
If you’re to make a habit out of claiming that the statements you make are true – even if you have all the supporting evidence –the audience’s perception is what you’d navigate incorrectly. Proving yourself right on a consistent basis may make you feel as though you’re on a meaningful journey toward truth, but others tend to perceive you a bit differently.
Those who religiously attempt to align themselves with absolute facts and truth tend to be seen as attempting to stand out from the average. Since you’d have a collection of evidence and facts on your side, your absolutely truthful claims will assign you more value than someone who doesn’t have command of absolute truth in that certain subject.
You inherently place yourself up on a pedestal in the eyes of the average when you attempt to show that you’re closer to truth than them. That pedestal is what helps us distinguish experts in a field from someone simply making unsubstantiated claims. That pedestal is useful, and that pedestal is what many academic fields stringently rely on to parse truth from opinion.
In day to day social interactions, the dynamics around that pedestal are a little different.
Those who see you making claims at truth may feel a desire to knock you off the pedestal you try to climb. They’ll perceive you to be attempting to stand out, and will consider you to be using your search for evidence to propel yourself higher in social standing in relation to them.
Navigating away from others’ desire to knock you down from an imagined pedestal seems like a beneficial thing to do. In labeling the things you say as opinions, you wouldn’t give birth to others’ worries about you trying to stand out from them. You’ll keep yourself on level ground with them, and as they see you eye to eye, the truths your opinions contain will be adopted with less barriers.