No one is born fully formed. In truth, no one ever is fully formed.
We are constantly growing. People in motion. A work in progress.
And this all seems obvious enough, but when it comes to expressing our opinion we can feel a need to defend our point of view to the point of embarrassment.
Here’s an idea – what if your view on a matter is wrong?
Or perhaps not wrong, but could your view be improved?
We all know that person whose only intent in a conversation is to sound the smartest. The more their ideas are questioned, the more they feel threatened. Often they are poor company.
Sometimes we are reluctant to concede an opinion, or to let an opinion be vulnerable. If our opinion is open to question or is fallible, it feels like that invalidates our right to even have an opinion.
There’s nothing wrong with having an opinion even if you don’t have all the facts. That’s why we have conversations, to inform our opinion. Let that opinion be vulnerable.
We shouldn’t be shy in questioning an opinion even if we don’t necessarily oppose it. We also shouldn’t be reluctant to change our own opinion.
So rather than conversation being merely people debating – a contest to see who is the smartest – try to explore ideas instead. Debate those ideas even, but open to the issue’s merits either way.
You’re a work-in-progress. Embrace that position.
Don’t aim to be the one in a conversation who gets to ride the high-horse. Aim to be the one who learns the most.
If you aren’t listening, the conversation doesn’t evolve. It’s just two people saying things they each already know at each other.
Some things are good for us to hear, even if they are things we already know.
Martin Pistorius was diagnosed as being brain dead. Yet he was conscious, alert, and could see & hear everything that was happening around him. No one realised for 11 years.
There is the classic one-word answer caricature we have of teens. The problem isn’t just in the answers, the problem is also the dull questions.
On the course of thinking on a new line, we can stumble on an idea trail. If we follow it, that idea starts to take shape.