I used to be exceptionally opinionated. What I didn't have an opinion on wasn't worth talking about. I felt it was my task to convince others to line their viewpoint up with mine; and that if I spoke strongly enough and was convincing in my argument, they would see the error of their ways and come around to agreeing with the wisdom I was espousing.
When I look back at this now, it is with huge mirth; how arrogant I was!
This began to shift when I read a book by Deepak Chopra about the seven spiritual laws of success. I decided I would give an aspect of one of these:- practicing defenselessness, a trial. This is a part of the Universal Law of Least Effort. It involved being very focussed on what the other person was saying and not feeling a need to defend ones point of view, nor express ones own opinion at all.
I am a strong visual learner and my brain and thinking works very quickly, so in taking this stance when having discussion with my colleagues I found I was able to listen much more deeply; to really feel into what they were saying; to be able to sit alongside them and attempt to understand their view. All of a sudden my brain wasn't racing to complete their sentence in my head and find the smartest, wittiest most profound response to their statement before they even finished expressing their viewpoint. This is a common fault of people who are strong visual learners; we process very quickly, see the whole thing in pictures and speak quickly. Often far too quickly for many, but especially for very kineasthetic learners who have to physically process their responses through the cells in their body.
I found something quite delicious in this new way of being; a sense of freedom and a gentleness in the way I both
listened and spoke with others. Suddenly I realised that what I think and believe doesn't matter to anybody but me. Gradually over time this allowed me to submerge myself in the absolute belief that "what other people think of me is none of my business". This is a liberating way to behave and I have enjoyed the absolute freedom and joy this has brought to my life. I encourage you to try this for a day and see what shifts for you. My week long experiment has turned into a way of being in my life.
Much love and lightness in your being