Letting Go of Opinions

When we are confronted with facts and discussions that challenge our established opinions and beliefs, sometimes we find that this new information is hard to entertain, let alone accept. Occasionally, the opinions that we have are very important to us and our sense of right and wrong. Other times however, we find that it is hard to adjust our opinions on trivial topics, and we can find ourselves arguing with others for seemingly no reason except our inability to let go of what we believe.

It has been suggested by the author John Green that having fewer rigid and often useless opinions on things can actually make you happier. The less our brain has to fight against incoming information and work to defend all of our existing opinions, the less stressed we feel. Green suggests deepening the opinions you have that matter to the kind of person you are most instead.

Another problem arises when you realize the opinions you do have are simply wrong, such as cases where you base empirical questions on feelings rather than facts. Although intellectually we may realize we are wrong, in these instances we often refuse to change our beliefs. The resistance we feel giving up an opinion seems to have no purpose and actually limits our knowledge and growth, so why do we defend those opinions still? How can we learn to let go of opinions that seem to be factually incorrect? What can we do to limit the amount of opinions that don’t serve us and instead exhaust us? How can we form and hold on to opinions we know to be good while letting go of the bad?