T Nation

Is Your Opinion Well Respected?


I don't know why, but it seems to me that amongst my peers, my opinion is often overlooked and passed off as impractical and useless. What it boils down to is lack of respect and a general unwillingness to listen to my point of view. I feel like whenever I have an idea that is even slightly far fetched, people automatically dismiss it, as if its not worthy of there consideration. The weird part is that I only get this among people my own age. My bosses, parents, and older acquaintances all seem to value my opinions very much.

So what gives? Do anyone of you have the same thing going on? Is it possible that I come off as arrogant or something? I never thought I sound arrogant, considering my self confidence is that of a 13 year old girl.

How about you guys/gals? Do you get mutual respect from people?


How can you possibly sell your ideas to other people if you come off as sounding like you don't even really believe in them, yourself?

edit: that avatar is amazing.


It is really hard to say. Even if you give us an example, it is only your side of the story. Were you a class clown in high school? Maybe when you give an opinion and people brush it off, you do too. Maybe you speak any random thing that comes into your head? I consider who I am talking to before I open my mouth and that seems to work.


I agree. Hard to respect the opinions of a person who has a hard time respecting himself.


Ever since I started working out people treat me with respect. Do you work out?

Another hypothesis is if you just confront them. Knock some sense into their heads that they are offending you. They may stop.

I have a friend who is like this currently and I stood up for him because he wouldn't. Friends don't treat friends like shit.


My opinions are not treated with respect. The reason for this is that my opinoins are correct and tho opinions of those around me are incorrect. They hate my opinoins because they are threatened by my correctness.


I was never the class clown, I was very quiet in school, I was the fat kid until college. I don't really say everything that pops into my head, I'm really the opposite. I'm very introverted, I think everything out over and over before saying it. Its probably the confidence thing, I do have a tendency to end statements, with question marks.

Oh, and yea I do workout, a lot. Before I started training, I barely talked, now I do, any no one takes me seriously.


If I respond to that negatively, it will just prove you right won't it?


I feel for ya. Some people, to use a cliche, just can't look outside the box. If you say something that doesn't mesh with their view or understanding of the issue, you're going to catch flak for it, whether you're right or not.

If you're in the business of barbecuing sacred cows, the majority of people aren't going to believe the things you say.

"That which has always been accepted by everyone, everywhere, is almost
certain to be false." -Paul Valery


Say, for example, you used to make a habit of saying wildly outlandish things. Even if you don't do that anymore your peers may still expect that of you. There may in fact be only one isolated incident sticking out in everyone's mind which is affecting his perception of you.

I know from experience, it's extremely frustrating to change yourself if you can't change the way others see you.

On another note...in high school I had a reputation for being really smart. So when it came to academics, of course I got respect. But what surprised me was how little my opinion counted outside of that. People don't respect general intelligence, in the sense that they demand that you prove it in different ways. Top that off with proximity bias and no one'll ever listen to you!


Often how your opinions are accepted is in how you state them. I find if I make statements with authority, they aren't questioned. I'm sometimes surprised how well this can be done when inside you're thinking, "What the hell do I know? I'm kind of making this shit up but it sounds good."

It just takes practice.


If I respond to that negatively, it will just prove you right. FULL STOP.
You are right, when you end statements in a question you come off as unsure of yourself.
If your opinions are not respected (and you really feel that they should be) then work on your sales and/or debating skills.


You have to earn respect.
You need to prove to people that your ideas are valid and worth listening to, but you need to be respectful.

Drizzt- "Ever since I started working out people treat me with respect. Do you work out?"

I think you are confusing respect with intimidation


You need to sell your idea. Ending your statment with a question is inviting people to ignor you. Present your idea expecting everyone to agree with you.
When I was at school I always got frustrated when me and my mates were just standing around because we couldn't decide wat we wanted to do.

I learned that if you suggested something and just waited for everyone to agree with you, then nothing happened. If I just said "I'm going to play footy, whos coming?" and started walking off though, everyone would come and play footy.


Sometimes when confronting institutional arrogance as in a workplace it's a good idea to remember that the workplace or organization didn't get that way by being open and receptive to new ideas. They do what works and keep doing it till it doesn't. Sometimes even longer.

You should evaluate whether or not you will be able to work your way into a position to effectively implement the changes you would like to see.

Based on that you should determine whether or not you and that place are a good match.

There is also a problem of idea theft. You tell the wrong person the right thing, and they will shoot you down in flames, only to turn around and run to who ever is supposed to hear what you said and act like your idea is theirs.


nice avatar guys :wink:


Oh no, I'm not confusing anything. I'm not over looked, I can't be over looked when sitting next to average joe in one my classes, study groups, or when I'm with friends. People listen to me when I have something to say. I'm sometimes the center of attention really. They've given me respect. The friends I hang out with I've known for a better part of my life, I can't intimidate them. I've been in the OP's shoes before.


The confidence is your problem.

You could probably sell some stupid fucking ideas to your friends if you could appear confident in them and sure of yourself. Could be good for some laughs lol.


Communication techniques are very important. If you look down when you speak or look in a different direction, talk in a soft voice then odds are they are going to blow you off. Check out your communication skiills. They may play a factor to the lack of respect friends are giving you.

Debating is a good step to take, as belligerent wrote. Challenge your friends when speaking. That could help teach them to respect you.


Solid advice, thanks guys. I've always had trouble communicating in one way or another. I was extremely shy as a kid and only now am I slowly beginning to be more sociable. It's like they say, to get people to believe in you, you first have to believe in yourself.