Sometimes it's very easy to allow the opinion of another person to get us down, ruin our day, and even rob us of our joy. This can be particularly difficult when dealing with a friend or family.
Especially in today's society of social media, it's common to stumble upon many people's opinions that may differ from your opinion. When it comes to topics like politics, a conversation or debate can heat up very quickly and even unexpectedly.
So why does it seem as though some people can live life as though nothing bothers them and some people can dwell on the opinions of others for weeks, losing sleep and constantly feeling tense?
What we have to understand here is that everyone is shaped by what they were exposed to throughout their entire life. Who they hung out with, what they watched on TV, who they paid attention to, and the vast array of experiences that they experienced all conditioned how they perceive and react to the world.
I want to give you an example that can help illustrate how people can see the world through a completely different set of lenses. Let's look at how two people can look at Halloween completely differently:
Perspective 1: A fun tradition shared with family and friends
In this perspective Halloween is a fun social holiday where kids dress up as ghosts and goblins, walk door to door to collect tasty treats. Once trick-or-treating is finished, they return home to their family to talk about their adventures and to munch on the dozens, sometimes hundreds of candies and snacks they collected.
Perspective 2: A dark tradition that instills fear and showcases horrifying images
To a person who has never been exposed to this tradition, Halloween can look like the most disgusting and demented form of practice.
Imagine someone who has never been exposed to Halloween visiting a town on October 31 that celebrates Halloween. For the first time in their life, they see children walking around like zombies, blood spilling down their faces, even little statues of zombie creatures who are controlled to scream at you when they sense you are around them. This is an absolutely horrifying scene to someone who has not been exposed to this type of tradition.
My point is that everyone is shaped differently. Many times there is no concrete right or wrong. Everyone has their own unique perspective that has been shaped throughout their entire lives to reflect their current beliefs.
However, when we fail to realize this, we tend to believe that everyone should think the same way as us or have the same beliefs and values that we have. That's where we can get into trouble.
When we feel as though everyone should agree with us, we neglect to take into consideration the multitude of experiences that they experienced that brought them to where they are today.
In many occasions, there is no concrete right or wrong.
The truth, many times, is in the eye of the beholder. The next time you enter a heated debate, ask yourself if the different opinion (which you are trying to prove wrong) is objectively wrong or if your perspective of it is simply different.
Doing this on a regular basis can save you from entering many tense conversations and heated debates.
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