In today’s world, opinions are everywhere, from social media networks, to newspapers, public forums, and even standing in line at the grocery store. However, the best opinions are those that are asked for in conversation and politely given, as well as backed up with research and solid information. Keep the following article in mind when you come across a conversation where you are free to share your views with others.

Strong Opinions are Void Without Evidence

Has someone ever presented an unasked-for opinion to you, sans research, evidence, and information? It’s annoying and it’s difficult to take them seriously. Which is why, 1) you should always use evidence, information, and research to back up your opinions, and 2) you should be courteous enough to keep your opinions to yourself until asked otherwise. Strong opinions are best when presented with evidence to back them up. Think of it like a science project in a classroom. The teacher has just told you the sky is blue, but you want to know why. Wouldn’t that teacher be more credible if they provided the answer?

Research is a Great Way to Show that You Know What You’re Talking About

When you research an opinion with facts, you are showing that you know what you’re talking about. You are also showing that you have a passion for the opinion that you represent. No one wants to exchange opinions with someone that doesn’t know why they believe in something. Your opinions and beliefs are, usually, based on life experience and accumulated facts, so research those facts to make your opinions stronger. It strengthens your conversations, sharpens your intellect, and makes you an all-around more intelligent, knowledgeable person.

But Still…Unless Someone Asks, Opinions are Best Kept Private

While sharing your opinions can be a great way to get to know others, their values, and their beliefs, it’s rude to voice your opinions without first being asked to do so. Your opinion, researched or not, is exactly that—an opinion. It’s your PERSONAL belief, so it should be kept private until someone asks you to present it.

Never, ever throw your opinions and beliefs on someone else, even if they do that to you. Be the bigger person and always share your views with someone that is ready to receive them and reciprocate. Otherwise, you should definitely research those things that are the most important to you because you never know when someone might share your beliefs. On another note, if you find yourself becoming irrationally angry over the opinions of others, perhaps verbal behavior therapy would be a good avenue to trek.