Ten: They Are Like Belly Buttons…

Ink on watercolor paper – Words: Madeleine Albright

I have been writing this blog for thirteen years, a daily post for more than seven years, and I have been creating a piece of art to include in my posts more nearly three years. In those three years I have almost created 1,000 piece of art. This post starts my ten day countdown to that goal of one thousand pieces of my work.

We’ve all been around those people who talk in a conversation in order to bring the topic back to themselves. They do not usually add much, just their story as a way to feel included. Those moments usually end the conversation or the group changes the subject in order to keep the conversation going. It can be a very annoying habit, and eventually clears the room. I enjoyed these words from Madeleine Albright as they remind us that having an opinion is not wrong if we use our opinion to start a discussion.

I know people who are great conversationalists. They ask great questions and usually listen very well. They are curious and want to know how other people think and feel. They share their opinions and want to know the opinions of others. If they have a controversial opinion, they present it in such a way as to start a discussion rather than judge the people in the room, which usually shuts down any further words on the topics. Opinions are like belly buttons, everyone has one and quite often they want to share it. Knowing how to converse with diverse opinions is a gift, not a tool to have the last word.

So how do you handle your opinions? I’m sure you have them, and often times people get to know us and bond with us over our opinions. How have you learned to express them to develop or add to the conversation rather than shutting it down? It is great to believe something, it is even better when we can share our thoughts and give others the freedom to do the same. No one likes a limelight hog. Next time you have the urge to share your opinion, think of Madeleine Albright…does your opinion start a better conversation or shutdown the room?

Nine more to go…

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