It’s so ironic when people tell you not to listen to the opinions of people. It’s funny because taking their advice means not listening to them as well.
We listen to people’s opinions, whether we realize it or not. In fact, most of our opinions on many issues are a regurgitation of people’s opinions. Confirmation bias makes it worse; we are more likely to only listen to opinions that are similar to ours. Maturity is choosing the things that matter to you the most, and equally important, choosing who’s opinion should matter in what situation.
Though we shouldn’t listen to other people all the time, we are lying to ourselves if we say we don’t listen at all. If people’s opinions didn’t matter, you wouldn’t be on Twitter, reading reviews, reading books and watching discussions on television. More often than not, these are opinions from “strangers” but it matters to us anyways.
People’s opinions do matter, but it depends on the person and on the matter. When it comes to personal matters, listening to people outside your circle or the circle of focus is dangerous. They only see a fraction of the real issue and don’t know the inner workings. The behind-the-scenes is not known to them so their opinions may be true but not entirely.
People usually want freedom of speech to compensate the freedom of thought they barely explored. Being quick to opine only exposes their ignorance and lack of patience to understand what’s really the matter. So be mindful of who you’re listening to. Most of their advices are a reflection of what’s happening in their lives, not yours.
If you think you don’t listen to what people say, you’re lying to yourself and you wouldn’t be reading this right now. Believing that lie brings a lot of confusion. People who think they don’t care what other people think are more likely not to listen to other people in situations when they should.
At the end of the day, the opinions that will matter the most to us are from the people that matter the most to us. Wisdom is listening to others when you should, and not listening to them when you shouldn’t, and intuition is knowing when and when not to.
I love you