I'd like to discuss Opinions which are not: asked for, wanted, or respected. I'm sure we've all experienced someone giving their Narrow-Minded and Pompous Opinion on a subject which fits the Aforementioned Criteria.
There are different methods to handle Unsolicited Opinions: We can: ignore them, accept them graciously, or have some Sort of Retort which is generally percieved as being Negative.
Of course the word "negative" is relative. Negative Situations can result in Positive Outcomes. For example, Joseph Campbell said something like, "The consciousness is changed through trials, tribulations, and the subsequent illuminating revelations." In other words, we can gain a New Perspective on life by benefitting from our pain. Sometimes our Discomfort motivates us to seek a Higher level of Understanding through processing those Painful Experiences.
Carl Yung also had something to say about gaining something from our pain. He said something like, "Embrace your pain, for there your soul will grow."
So, in essence, just because an Individual responds negatively to a statement that is made, doesn't mean that Individual doesn't have our Best Interests at Heart. The Negative Response may just act as a Catalyst to a Positve Outcome.
Sarcasm and Sardicism are two examples of relatively Negative Responses we can reply to Unsolicited Opinions.
Please allow me to give my perspective on the definitions of these examples:
Sarcasm is a sharp ironical reply with the Intention of Belittling a statement. Did you notice I used the word "statement" and not "Individual" in the belittling process? Sarcasm, in my belief, is not intended to shoot the Messenger, only the Message. Now Sardonism uses Sarcasm with the intention to shoot the Messenger. Sardonism is intended to hurt. We don't want to harm the Individual. We want that Individual to be Intact, with all their Faculties, ready and willing to Grow.
Probably the first Sacastic Response I remember hearing to an Unsolicited Opinion was made by my friend Brad back in the days when payphone calls cost a dime. He would ask, "Hey- do you have a dime?" The Unsolicited Opinionator would respond, "Sure!" Then Brad would retort, "Good! Then go call Someone Who Cares."
In retospect, Brad's Technique may have been a little more Sardonic than Sarcastic. I don't know What do You think? (Solicited Opinion)
Peter Sellers played the character "Wang" in the movie "Murder By Death". When #2 Son gave an Unsolicited Opinion, Wang retorted, "Opinion is like television on wedding night- not necessary!" In my Opinion, whether it be Solicited or Unsolicited, Wang was teaching his Son boundaries in the Father/Son relationship. If Wang wanted #2 Son's Opinion, he'd ask for it.
We've all heard the Old Retort, "Opinions are like anal sphincters- everybody's got one." To that I add that Unsolicted Opinions are like another part of the alimentary canal: the appendix- Virtually Useless.
What sort of Sarcastic Retorts do you, or would you if you could, use to reply to Unsolicited Opinions?
With me my retort can be quite simple "thanks for your opinion". Sometimes it's sincere, others it's probably sarcastic depending on whether I agree/like their opinion, but usually it's said with neutrality.
But as you say, one has to look at the intent of the opininator...is it just to hear themselves talk, are they open-minded to my opinion, are they trying to help me or criticize me....and if it's criticism is it warranted? All this happens in a matter of seconds sometimes. My knee jerk reaction is usually one of hurt and offense, then feeling bad about myself, but sometimes I can take pause and grow.
I'm relatively opinionated and I think I'm pretty good at taking what I dish out.
Most of the time people don't take the time to listen and integrate the opinions of others.
Here's my unsolicited opinion about your post and you take it or leave it, knowing my intent isn't to be hurtful: you capitalize to many words throughout when it's not necessary and it's distracting which may cause readers to lose the meaning of what you're writing. (Just as my many typos and errors do.)
Last edit by Tweety on Jan 25, '11