Learn to accept that people have a right to their opinions. Don’t resist either the people around you or their opinions. Simply move on.
A lot of our quality time is lost in giving credence to other people’s opinions. From experience I can tell you that this is an absolute waste of time. What others think of you does not really make your Life tick. Period. Only when you give an opinion attention does it grow to be a problem – as in something that you have to deal with. If you just view an opinion as a mere statement, a string of words, and choose only what you want to internalize and discard the rest, there will be no problem.
Consider this example. I give you a pen as a gift. If you accept it, who does the pen belong to? It belongs to you. If you choose not to accept it and say that you don’t take gifts as a matter of principle, who does the pen now belong to? It belongs to the giver, me. Now instead of a pen, if it was an insult or an opinion, you have the same option. You can leave it, the “gift”, with the giver and not take it. You grieve only when you accept the opinion or insult and agonize over it in your mind – she said that, but why?; how dare he do that to me?; I need to teach them a lesson; I need to show them who I really am and such. The more you grieve the more you suffer. And that’s why most relationships end up withering away – simply because you don’t have the ability to let people have their opinions!
Opinions are of two kinds – serious, honest feedback and frivolous, even destructive, criticism. You have a choice to internalize and learn from the first kind. If you do, don’t let your mind complain about it by chewing on it endlessly. Someone said something you can learn from. Learn and move on. The second kind of opinion, the destructive criticism, just ignore and move on. Now, moving on is not always easy. The legendary Bollywood film-maker Yash Chopra would take weeks to recover whenever his films flopped. Obviously the reason why a film flops is because of audience opinion. Chopra would lock himself up in his room and step out only at meal times. For weeks he would do this until he “healed” from the criticism and until he “learned” from the feedback. So, like Chopra, choose your own method for dealing with opinions. But whatever it is, don’t grieve and agonize, and resultantly suffer, over what others have to say.
We create our own problems by wanting people to be different from who they really are. It is because they are a particular way that they have opinions such as the ones they make. Accept people for who they and know that they are entitled to their opinion, just as you are entitled to yours. When you remind yourself of this empowering perspective, every time you hear an opinion contrary to your own, you will find the energy and the ability to drop the opinion, to not judge the person who delivered it and to move on!