Fact and Opinion

In the same way, individuals can have many varied opinions about the same event or situation. If someone we know walked past us without saying hello, we might think, “s/he deliberately ignored me,” “s/he’s being snooty and rude,” s/he didn’t want to talk to me because they don’t like me” and so on. This might lead us to feel upset, and react in ways that are unhelpful. The only fact is that the person walked past. Anything else is opinion—our own personal interpretation of the event. We don’t have any facts or know the reality of why that happened unless we ask them. We could just as well think, “maybe they didn’t see me,” “maybe they were worrying about something.” Those are more positive thoughts—but they are still a personal interpretation of the event. Realizing that many thoughts are opinion rather than fact makes it less likely that we’ll be distressed by them, and more able to make wise and calm decisions about what the best action is to take.

Get into the habit of asking yourself: FACT or OPINION?

This entry was posted on Thursday, January 9th, 2014 at 11:18 pm and is filed under Psychology. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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