The Art of the Opinion

Chris Tadeu
3 min readDec 16, 2020

To Have One, Or Not to Have One? I Abstain.

Photo by Lisa Kohnen on Unsplash

When was the last time you heard someone say, “I don’t know, I don’t have an opinion on it.”?

Depending on what kind of conversations you lean towards in your social circles, it’s likely you haven’t heard the above phrase in quite some time.

I’d even be willing to bet that you might have felt like you have to have an opinion so as not to feel ostracized by others. I’ve been in situations where there was such a fervor behind a subject I either didn’t care about or had a difference of opinion on that I felt like if I said the wrong thing, the whole room was going to turn on me.

Hopefully, you haven’t run into the situation where not having a strong enough opinion has labeled you as an idiot.

There Can Only Be One!

I’ve started encountering an increasing social pattern of needing to have and broadcast your opinion in conversations. We’ve begun reverting to a sense of tribalism, where if you don’t agree with most, if not all, of the views of your peer group, you become one of the ‘others.’

It’s a powerful notion that plays upon the innate fear of being an outcast. Of being left out and ignored — of losing vital social connections. It’s easiest to see this in play in political systems with one or two main parties in power.

But it’s also incredibly limiting.

Hear Me, Roar!

We’re repeatedly told to “form an opinion,” “get your voice out there,” and “stick to your guns.” (At least this is true here in the United States — I don’t have as much experience of this abroad.)

Don’t get me wrong; a beautiful part of life and growing up is that you get to form your own opinions and carry your truth into the world. What I’m saying is, we’ve lost the counterweight to this.

There are about a billion and one topics out there to form opinions on. Why do we feel like we need to have a fully articulated opinion on all of them? Is it coming from fear? Of being rejected? A desire to be seen and heard? Only you can answer that question for yourself, but they are vital questions to ask.

I’ll Take Option 2, Please

One of my favorite quotes is from Marcus Aurelius, the last Roman emperor from the Pax Romana (an age of relative and I mean very relative, peace and stability):

“You always own the option of having no opinion. There is never any need to get worked up or to trouble your soul about things you can’t control. These things are not asking to be judged by you. Leave them alone.”

Don’t get sucked into the ever-increasing polarizing society/political system that dictates the louder and longer you speak about something, the more you must know about it.

Feel free to dip out of a conversation you’re not interested in. To say, “I don’t know, I need more information on it before I can talk about it.”

If you’ve never practiced this before, it’s going to feel a little sketchy at first. You’re working a brand new muscle, and it takes time to strengthen it and find the right balance between the times when you want to engage and express your opinion and the other times when you just want to “nope” right out of there.


What’s so fantastic about the conclusion of this piece? You now get to decide whether you have an opinion on my opinion. That’s full circle right there, folks.

Hate it? Great! Let me know, and I’d be happy to explore further. Love it? Super! Take it with you throughout the day.

None at all? Even better. See where else you can apply the practice and see how much more space it gives you in your life.



Chris Tadeu

Fellow human on a mission to create moonshot ideas, elevate personal growth, and inspire others to do some of the same. Enjoy!