Opinions? Who needs them.

I have made a recent addition to my list of people to avoid. From now on, along with those who use our beaches as an ashtray and able-bodied types who park in disabled spaces, I’m putting a big black mark against people with opinions.

How many times have you been trapped by a loud-mouthed obnoxious bore? Once is one time too many. I’ve done my time smiling and nodding politely, knowing that trying to get a word in edgeways is useless. People with opinions don’t want to have a discussion, they just want you to listen awe-struck to their dissertation, which is why they always talk so loudly.

I was with a group of people recently, one of whom was a very opinionated man. There’s a reason why “opinionated’ is used in a derisive fashion. He was a supreme example. Everyone else had been beaten into silence but I took advantage of the fact that he was a smoker. When he took a pause to drag on his cigarette I seized my chance.

I pointed to a nearby waterway. “Are there eels in that river?” I asked, looking at everyone except the opinionated bore. “If you went for a swim would you find an uninvited guest up your bathers?”

The result was amazing. Everyone had a story about eels; catching them, being frightened by them or eating them. I even found out that eels can travel over land, a most unsettling discovery. As we swapped stories and anecdotes, I noticed Mr Opinion shuffling uncomfortably. Once he was no longer the centre of attention he didn’t know how to interact. Eventually he shuffled off, probably to go and park in a disabled spot and stub his cigarette out on the beach.

Don’t get me wrong, I love ideas and I love discussion but it seems to me that having an opinion and having to tell everyone about it is a very alienating hobby. Macramé would be much more useful.

But then again that’s only my opinion.

3 thoughts on “Opinions? Who needs them.

  1. Nice post. It seems to me that having an opinion and having to tell everyone about it are two hobbies, the first of which should be encouraged. It’s the second one that has the alienating effect, especially the “having to” part. Obviously, once opinions are formed, it’s natural to want to share them with others but this must be done with tact and discretion. I see that now. Thank you.

    1. Good point Ricky. It is the “having to” and demanding an audience.
      True story: very early in my days of working for the ABC the station manager came running into the studio when I was on air.
      “What’s wrong?” I asked him.
      “You just voiced an opinion. You work for the ABC, you’re not allowed to have opinions.”
      I was flabbergasted. “But in my last job (commercial radio) they paid me to have opinions.”
      “Well, at the ABC we pay you not to have them.”

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