The Art of No Opinion
Stop Wasting Energy Where Our Thoughts Are Not Needed nor Wanted
Let me clarify something upfront: I’m not talking about saying, “No opinion,” because you don’t want to put yourself out as a target or avoiding legal repercussions. I mean truly learning how to not form an opinion.
We are constantly being bombarded with opportunities to share our opinion – whether online or in person. Often, we are even asked what our opinion is on topics from politics, to celebrity scandals, or neighborhood gossip.
It’s hard to control our tongue (or fingertips) when this happens, but you know what would make doing so easier? By not having anything to say instead of needing to refrain from saying it! Instead of taxing your willpower by refraining from saying something you shouldn’t, which is exhausting, we could save even more energy by just not wasting our thoughts from the start. We can ask ourselves a few questions to help with this. Unless you can say, “Yes,” to one of these, you probably don’t need to waste your time thinking about what others are talking about.
- Does this news impact me?
- Does it impact someone I know personally?
- Can I make a meaningful impact on the situation?
1 and 2 are pretty straightforward. Number 3 is the only one that can be a bit ambiguous. After all, words can be impactful. But more often, they are wasted. To help with #3, here are a few follow-up questions:
Is this matter worth attention? If No, let it go. Who cares what the latest celebrity gossip is? Who cares what so and so that you never see and nobody you know interacts with is saying or doing? We have enough problems that we need to deal with already!
But if, yes, the matter is worth attention…
- Is this matter hidden and needing exposure and thus remaining silent will worsen the problem?
- Could I add something new to the conversation?
- Could I make an impact beyond words?
Again, if you can’t say yes to one of these three… let it go! If other people are already working on it and your impact is minimal to non-existent, don’t go down the rabbit hole learning all you can or thinking about it. Move on. Live your life. It’s quite a full-time job.