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Don’t confuse people’s opinions with truth

While the philosophical idea of truth can be debated endlessly without coming to any conclusions, in our real life we need to distinguish between facts and opinions.

Facts are something that can be counted, measured and verified. Most of the rest are opinions by people. Opinions are judgements that we and others have and does not make it a truth.

Your height is a truth as it can be measured, your weight is truth as it can be measured, the number of steps you have walked today is a truth as it can be counted by you and others independently. Are you good looking/beautiful? Are you intelligent? Are you cool? None of these things have any measurement to them. It is only perception of yours and other people’s.

We often take negative opinions expressed by others as truth and suffer endlessly. If someone has been critical of our physical appearance, our facial features, our mental capacity etc we examine it minutely and believe what the person has said is the truth and agonize forever about it. The opinions especially come from our parents when we were young, we take it unquestioningly as truth. When you were young you didn't know better. But as an adult can you examine the opinions of even your parents and question them in your mind? They have a right to opinions but their opinions need not be your truth.

When someone criticizes us or gives us negative feedback it is vital to think of the person’s intentions. Are they doing it because they want us to improve, because they want us to grow, because they care about us or are their opinions coming just to insult us, humiliate us and put us down? In the first instance when we think the other person means well for us, we can take the criticisms seriously and examine and make course corrections. In the second case, no matter who expressed it, we should dismiss it telling ourselves, “That is just an opinion and I don’t have to internalize that as truth”.

That discrimination is vital to handle people’s opinion around us.

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