I’ve been asked why I am always seeking outside opinions from my own. I used to think it was because I didn’t trust myself, didn’t trust my intuition or confidence.
Recently I’ve come to realize that I do trust myself and I have confidence in who I am. Nonetheless, the questions continue to persist. And for someone who is constantly seeking to revise and improve myself, this raised a question: why do I still ask people what they think?
Having ruled out the confidence bit, I then went deeper and pondered some more. I value what people have to share, so it isn’t a matter of wanting to hear myself talk. I will also make my own decision after carefully weighing and calculating all of the different points of view.
That’s when the happy realization came into focus that I see life as a collaborative journey. I value what those around me see, their unique perspectives that I might have missed, and hopefully vice versa. At the end of the day, we make our own decisions (hopefully) but when it comes to so many matters, we seek outside opinions.
It could be about a situation at work, an apartment, our love life, or a cooking technique. And yes, some people only ask questions so that they can hear themselves talk, which is frustrating. But on the whole, life is a collaborative journey and our own perspective is so narrow, so specific, that if we can get out of our heads a bit, and value what other people have to share that we might miss… well, it’s a beautiful thing.
That being said, there is an exception on who you can ask opinions from. It’s often extremely challenging to ask opinions from people who see the world in very limited black-and-white terms. Good and bad. Absolute. These folks often balk and run if they hear an answer that isn’t to their liking. You got dumped? Their response is often going to be “fuck that dude/gal. Move on.” They are done with it. Same with a job, etc.
So, if you’re looking for deep and thoughtful conversation, those folks might not be the best to turn to. It’s not a value judgment on them. In fact, sometimes for those of us who live so much in the grey, we can learn a little bit from them about boundaries. Usually our strongest traits are both our biggest strengths and biggest weaknesses.
We learn from the shared experiences of those around us and it’s important to recognize that collaborative approach to living, but it’s also important to value your own judgment as the final word. Love yourself and love the people around you. We are all doing our best. Try to listen to them. Have conversations about things that scare you. If they made you mad, dialogue with them. Never leave something unfinished. I think we all owe it to our own hearts and minds to accept collaboration as a gift to growth and more love for ourselves and the world around us.