Most people shy away from differing opinions. I embrace them! Nirvana is my favorite band, IDKFA dislikes them, and our debate fortified my opinion. Our differing opinions on Avenged Sevenfold, Metallica’s recent tour opener, converged in a civil way. They were someone I once knew’s favorite band, IDKFA thought they were below average, and I’d see them again. Since “all opinions are valid,” let’s consider the psychology of opinions, especially: why get offended over opinions?
Zombiepaper’s Rating: ★★★★☆ [4/5]
I think we personify our opinions.
If I had bought into a cultist dogma that Nirvana could do no wrong, then I couldn’t have had a critical conversation about their faults. I wouldn’t have discovered my reason for enjoying their music: the cathartic release. Years ago, I might have defended Nirvana’s music like I were defending my honor or country. Now, it’s not that I don’t care about defending my opinions, it’s just I don’t invest much time in swaying opinions.
It’s probably because we enjoy expressing opinions.
My intent with expressing opinions within reviews and thought pieces, however, isn’t about forcing the reader in my direction. They’re about presenting my perspective, be it an opinion that aligns closely with popular culture or one that does not. My concert reviews add in narratives of that evening to provide a more realistic view into how concerts actually go. They certainly aren’t like music videos or the multi-cam live performances we’ll see frequently misrepresent concerts.
Why do we personify our opinions?
IDKFA’s Rating: ★★☆☆☆ [2/5]
Why take opinions so personally?
Why do we hold the opinions of (works made by) others in such high regards? It’s one thing if we’re happy without works. I’m proud enough of everything I’ve uploaded here. Let’s say you don’t like something here. Doesn’t bother me. Let’s say you don’t like something I didn’t create. Bothers me even less. Isn’t it their business if they don’t like something? It’s not like my opinion degraded because of that disparate opinion.
Maybe we seek validation for our opinions?
Maybe we’re usually not confident in our opinions? Maybe it’s easier to go with the glow? I’ve been guilty of this when I just don’t care about something enough to express an opinion. I’ll use open, positive, and vague language to convey a general sense of camaraderie to move things along. However, I certainly will express my opinion if I am more passionate about the topic at hand, so it’s all a matter of interest.
Let’s return to Avenged Sevenfold.
We three had different opinions. A buddy of mine was enamored. IDKFA was disinterested, and I was in that middle ground. Each opinion was based on unique reference points. One had known about the band for a while. IDKFA had just heard the band that evening, and I’ve casually heard some of their albums. It’s interesting to think about how opinions change with context. Just like how civil discussion can lead to improving, degrading, or otherwise changing opinions.
That’s just my opinion!