Observations, opinion!, personal

o•pin•ion•at•ed

opinionated |əˈpinyəˌnātid|
adjective
conceitedly assertive and dogmatic in one’s opinions: an arrogant and opinionated man.

SYNONYMS: she got tired of listening to her opinionated boyfriend: dogmatic, of fixed views, dictatorial, pontifical, domineering, pompous, self-important, arrogant; inflexible, uncompromising, prejudiced, bigoted. ANTONYMS open-minded, flexible.

opinion |əˈpinyən|
noun
a view or judgment formed about something, not necessarily based on fact or knowledge: I’m writing to voice my opinion on an issue of great importance | that, in my opinion, is dead right.
• the beliefs or views of a large number or majority of people about a particular thing: the changing climate of opinion.
• (opinion of) an estimation of the quality or worth of someone or something: I had a higher opinion of myself than I deserved.
• a formal statement of advice by an expert on a professional matter: seeking a second opinion from a specialist.
• Law a formal statement of reasons for a judgment given.
• Law a lawyer’s advice on the merits of a case.

SYNONYMS: she did not share her husband’s opinion: belief, judgment, thought(s), (way of) thinking, mind, (point of) view, viewpoint, outlook, attitude, stance, position, perspective, persuasion, standpoint; sentiment, conception, conviction. No antonyms were offered on my Mac’s onboard dictionary.

Check out the definition for opinionated. I have to admit, all this time I’ve been walking the Earth, I have been ignorant of the meaning ascribed to this word in the dictionary. This never came up but prior to looking it up, I would have told anybody who asked that I thought I was very opinionated and proud of it. In my head, opinionated simply meant I had strong thoughts about whatever I deemed worthy of thinking about or talking about. Oops! And look at the definitions for opinion and how they contradict each other. A Google search for “word for having strong thoughts” yielded this page that suggests self-assertive might be the best choice. Other suggestions were non-conformist, free thinker and I’m not the only one who tagged this one as a favorite, perspicacious, meaning having a ready insight into and understanding of things. I find that fascinating, don’t you? That having strong opinions might mean you are a free thinker or a person with ready insight? I like that. I would enjoy having such thoughts about myself – the labels feel like right ones to me. Even if I have a strong distaste for labels. They are so limiting, in my opinion.

Why am I digging through all this? I was thinking about how I sometimes post some very strong opinions here. Wondering if I shouldn’t. You know the deal… that very uncomfortable feeling of exposure that happens when you reveal what you really think about something. The same feeling artists feel when they unveil their latest work or a writer when their words go public and can then be ridiculed by that public. I’m a coach. What if I repel people? What if people find me arrogant? What if someone doesn’t like me?

All these thoughts brought on by the primal fear that I will be rejected for being me.

As scary as it sometimes is to be me with all my self-assertive, non-conformist, free thinking perspicaciousness, I think the alternative would suck so much harder than rejection. Not being me would mean putting on a mask. Staying quiet when I want to speak up. Saying yes when I mean no or saying no when what I want more than anything is to say yes. Dimming my light. (God, that thought makes me want to cry for all the waste it would mean.) Turning down my volume so that I am more comfortable to take.

Fuck. That.

Now that I have escaped the prison of Not-Me, I can’t go back to that cold, dank head space. Even if it means that some people turn their back on me. I know that there are other people who will embrace me – who do embrace me along with my particular bag of crazy. They take me as I am, no dimming down required or requested. Those are my people and I am theirs. And damn, I know some mighty fine people.

So if you read something here and it rubs you the wrong way, then I’m sorry. I’m not here to make you uncomfortable. I’m just here to say what I need to say. Please, let me show you the door. Go, with love. May you find your own mighty fine tribe of people.

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2 thoughts on “o•pin•ion•at•ed

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