Everyone believes in certain things, has opinions or thoughts about a situation or person. Yet not everyone has the confidence to say them out loud, and even less have the confidence to stick up to their opinion when others go against it.
As an example, when was the last time you agreed with something your friend said, but actually you thought the opposite of what they were saying? Maybe you even agreed to the extent that you started talking about the thing or person in same way your friend did, so that he/she wouldn’t be suspicious of you not agreeing.
This is very common in schools, I have witnessed it many times, and even been a part of it. For example, my friend would talk badly about someone else because they had done something to her that she didn’t like. I on the other hand, had nothing against that person, yet I agreed with my friend
and told her that she shouldn’t be friends with that person. This was a while back, when I didn’t realise what I was doing yet, and I wasn’t confident enough to stand up to her and tell her my own opinion or even just ignore it and move to another topic.
Why is it so hard to resist agreeing? Mostly, this is due to indirect peer pressure and the feeling of wanting to fit in. The theory is, that if we agree with someone, they are more likely to be friends with us, and friends mean that one is not lonely – something that we as humans try to avoid at all costs. So I agreed with my friend so that I seemed like I was on ‘her side’, so she’d accept me more.
It doesn’t have to be friendship related, it can literally be any small thing. While this may ensure me more friends and being a part of a community perhaps, I have found it to be very tiring, not being able to express my own opinion and telling others how I truly feel about something. It’s like I am lying to myself and keeping my soul locked up in my body.
Therefore, I decided to change that, so I nearly always express my true opinion, even if I disagree with someone. Yes, it can lead to arguments sometimes, which may be unpleasant, but at least I don’t have to pretend to like or dislike something, and I can show my true self to others. And if others don’t appreciate my true self, then they are not meant to be my true friends. I have gone by this saying, and I must say, the quality of my friendships has increased tremendously.
It isn’t always easy to give my opinion, since many of my friends then tend to be the ones to agree with me even when they don’t, and so I do my best to encourage them to be truthful, despite my opinion. It wouldn’t be fair if I say I want to express mine and thus I don’t accept other people’s thoughts.
We should all be more sensitive and thoughtful of those around us. While we should be confident and self ensured enough to truly express ourselves, we should also let others do the same and respect them. We we are respected and in turn respect those around us, our community can grow, and we are no longer souls cooped up and hidden in human bodies, no, then we are soul and body alike and can show our beautiful selves to the world.
In the end, it’s not the number of friends you have that counts, but it is the number of friends that truly know you for you and not for having society’s opinion. The number of friends you can always turn to and love under any circumstances is what counts.
Have a truthful day,