OPINION is defined as…
“A view or judgement formed about something, not necessarily based on fact or knowledge”
and the part that says “not necessarily based on fact or knowledge” is important to take note of
because OPINIONS are often defended as if they were TRUTHS, FACTS, even based on EVIDENCE.
When in fact, they are largely shaped by our individual BELIEFS and VALUES.
Which in turn, are formed from ASSUMPTIONS, INFERENCES and the TESTIMONY of people we might respect or trust, such as authority figures, experts, work colleagues, family and friends.
They are a result of our SOCIAL and CULTURAL CONDITIONING.
When you react to someone criticising or challenging your OPINIONS, you can be sure you have invested part of your SENSE OF SELF in these OPINIONS.
That is, you are ATTACHED to them to such an extent that an attack on them is perceived as an attack on you. You and your opinions are as one.
The first step in breaking this identification is to observe it at work.
When your opinions are challenged, and you feel negative emotion as a result, look inside yourself to see what attachment you feel a need to defend.
Question why you feel you need to defend this OPINION and figure out what BELIEF it’s being driven by.
Then question the validity of this BELIEF. Why you have it, where it came from, is it a belief worth defending?
Unless you remove your sense of self from these BELIEFS, you will inject subjective bias into them, and will be unable to take an objective standpoint.
You will look to confirm them, to prove them, so that you can inflate your sense of self.
While, at the same time, discrediting your objectors, so as to avoid having to really look objectively at the underlying TRUTHS and FACTS, without the cloud of EMOTION getting in the way.
The SCIENTIFIC approach is to hold beliefs as hyphotheses and look to disprove them at any opportunity. If you can’t prove them as TRUTH or FACT, consider them best guesses.