Unpopular opinions are important for multi-dimensional thinking

Published by adviser, Author: Shelby Stearns - Copy/Web Editor, Date: September 10, 2015
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I don’t like Taylor Swift. I think she’s obnoxious. I don’t put syrup on my pancakes or jelly on my peanut butter sandwiches because I don’t like them. I find maxi skirts superfluous and Starbucks grossly overrated. I’ve never read Harry Potter or watched any of the movies beyond the first one, and I don’t particularly care to. And, although Iggy Azalea is racist and generally not the best human being, I like listening to her music.

I’m full of unpopular opinions. I don’t expect many people, if anyone, to read the above paragraph and say “YES! I agree! Well put!” But I don’t have those opinions because I want people to agree with them. I have them because, well, I’m human, and I’m allowed to have growing and changing interests that may or may not exactly align with those of everyone around me.

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not too “hipster” to like things that the mainstream likes. I don’t feel the way I do just to be unique or edgy. There are plenty of popular opinions that I have as well. That list could go on and on. Everyone has met that one person who hates everything you say you like, and voices that opinion loudly and proudly, mostly through passive aggressive comments on social media. People like this tend to act in such a way simply to get a rise out of people and spark debate. While I like intellectual banter as much as any educated person, I don’t particularly have a desire to impose that upon anyone else unless it is completely warranted.

I once met a person who hated The Beatles. I have a close friend who thinks dogs and cats are annoying. I think these opinions are completely crazy and wonder how anyone could feel that way. But I also think it’s awesome that they own their opinions and don’t pretend to like something they don’t for fear of backlash from people around them.

The cool thing about humans is that they can be multi-dimensional in their thinking. And their opinions can have multiple facets to them. No, I don’t like Taylor Swift, but I can jam out to some Bad Blood every once in a while. I think Starbucks is overpriced and overrated, but if a relative happens to get me a gift card for Christmas, I’m going to get me some frappuccinos. And I’m not a huge Harry Potter fanatic, but will I participate gladly in Rocket staff sorting hat quizzes? Absolutely, it is the Gryffindor thing to do (apparently).

It’s important to be able to think on your own as a mature adult in order to form your own opinions. If your friends all feel exactly the same about everything as you do, how boring is that? Life is so much more exciting when you are exposed to all different types of perspectives. You can hate something that everyone you know likes, just like you can like something that everyone else hates, and you shouldn’t feel embarrassed to do so. And if your friends voice an unpopular opinion, hear them out. What are their reasons for feeling that way? Don’t just automatically write off their feelings because you disagree. Maybe the only reason they don’t like Harry Potter is that their Catholic mothers called it Satanic and wouldn’t let them read it as a child and they’ve ALWAYS RESENTED BEING AN OUTSIDER, MOM. Totally hypothetical scenario.

However, if your opinion might be directly hateful or offensive to a direct group of people, such as targeting a particular gender, race, sexuality, religion or disability, then maybe keep that opinion to yourself, read a book and get woke. There is a difference between a harmless differing of interests and blatant bigotry. I am not at all condoning insulting or disrespectful behavior.

So as long as you aren’t deliberately trying to go against the mainstream, you aren’t forcing your views onto others and you are respectful of those around you, I think you should absolutely own your unpopular opinions. Own the fact that you are not a mindless robot and can make your own decisions without the media manipulating your every thought.

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