Keys to a Better Life: Don't Take Every Opinion to Heart!

If my brief Google research is correct, the quote “Opinions are like assholes, everybody has one” is originally attributed to actor Clint Eastwood. I think (ok yeah, here’s my opinion) everyone is entitled to have an opinion, but having one (perhaps like having an a-hole) doesn’t mean you need to share it with the entire world.

My mom used to tell me when I was little that I wore my heart on my sleeve too often, and I brought a lot of that into young adulthood with me. I could be hurt very easily by the words and actions of others. In the world we live in today, where people feel empowered to state an opinion, often in unkind terms, and often about situations where they don’t have all the facts or choose to ignore them altogether, it’s easy for a “heart on the sleeve” person to be really damaged by taking too much stock in what other people—often strangers—think and say.

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I’m glad I’ve toughened up. Not so much that I won’t or don’t seek the opinions of someone I respect or trust; but for the most part, I can block out a lot of opinions that aren’t offered for the purpose of helping me succeed or grow. Maybe age has had something to do with it. Still, it’s not always easy to ignore, especially if the opinions come in loud or unkind ways. But if you can pull back and recognize those opinions more as a reflection on the person issuing them than about you, you just might find, like I have, that they hurt a whole lot less. Carry on, friends. And don’t be an a-hole, okay?