Unsolicited Opinions

A good quote is beautiful because it packs lots of meaningful information in a sentence or two. I hope you enjoy some of my favourites. Here’s one:

“It is not advisable to venture unsolicited opinions. You should spare yourself the embarrassing discovery of their exact value to your listener.”

– Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged

Generally, unsolicited opinions are only problematic when the opinion is negative or critical. Nobody minds a positive attitude! Negative opinions can come across as being rude and ignorant. Sometimes critical opinions are welcome, especially among friends and close colleagues. Context is everything. Learn to read it.

Don’t let your ego do the thinking. Maybe you feel a need to establish dominance or prove competency for people of more experience. That’s risky. Is it worth putting a damper on the relationship? Besides, what do you know? If you recognize that they’re of more experience, that’s good reading, but you’re probably better off listening than speaking. Be aware of the imaginary line that’s often drawn between you and the experienced. Don’t cross it. Respect it. It’s all about reading people and the context. 

Your listeners will all handle your unsolicited, inexperienced, ignorant and rude opinions differently. If you’re lucky, they’ll embarrass you. But sometimes you’re not given that insight. You’ll never know how low you just sank!

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