David Hancock, Staff Writer

Dear opinionated people,

Before I begin this rant, let me be clear: everyone has a right to their own opinion. Additionally, in the United States all citizens are guaranteed the right to have those opinions heard. That is clear, and I’m not annoyed because of that. I’m annoyed because the majority of people don’t seem to understand that just because they have the right to an opinion, that doesn’t mean you have a right to say it whenever you want.

This rant is not aimed at you, normal people. You people who have strong convictions, but understand the time and place to voice them. If you’re capable of shutting up, this rant is not aimed at you. If, however, you believe that every thought that comes into your head is pure genius and that because your ideas are so golden you have to continually shove your opinions down other people’s throats, then yes, you bother me.

So, if you’re one of the amazingly annoying people I’m actually talking to, here’s some friendly advice:

First: your opinion isn’t the only one out there.
Although you may believe that you are 100% right with every opinion you have, know that no one else believes that, and often times they are 100% sure that they are right, so there’s really no use fighting with them. I hate being in a classroom when two random students are literally about to fight over what side they should break their eggs on or some other stupid philosophical concept that has no right answer, yet some people still seem convinced that their way can somehow be right and will fight anyone who disagrees. Just accept the fact that not everyone will agree with you and move on.

Second: Some people aren’t worth the trouble.
If you wouldn’t change your opinion then why should you expect other people to change theirs? And if you’ve taken a difference of opinions to the point where you and the other person are yelling and red in the face and about to swing, just stop. You’re getting nowhere anyways.

Thirdly: If you’re talking, have something to say.
Yes, your opinion matters and you have a right to it and blah blah blah. But if you’re talking, make sure it’s actually worth saying. Meaning, if four people who spoke before you in a meeting share your opinion and have already thoroughly covered that point of view, shut up! No one wants to hear the same opinion repeated ten billion times, and you’re very arrogant if you believe that your perspective will only be valid if you’re the one who said it. Read the room. If your audience has already heard your argument, then they don’t need to hear it again. And please, please, PLEASE, stop trying to convince people who already agree with you! They’re on your side, take a chill pill.

Finally, and most importantly: WE DON’T WANT TO HEAR IT!!!
There’s a time and place to share and debate opinions. In a controlled and calm setting, two or more people can have great and lively discussion over matters they will never agree on but can still discuss it anyways to better educate themselves in the views of other. I love these talks, and I thoroughly enjoy sharing my views with friends in a socratic seminar in English class or at Moo Moo’s while drinking a milkshake. In those settings, it’s ok and even expected for people to share their opinions. Outside of a controlled setting, it’s helpful for you annoying people to realize when you’re sharing whatever thought came into your head that literally NO ONE ASKED! If someone asks for your opinion, then please, share away. If not, then shut the heck up.

I say this whole rant kind of ironically, because I know that I’m one of the most opinionated persons on Earth and I very seldom shut my big mouth, but at least I recognize that. I’m acutely aware of how opinionated and passionate I am, so I try as hard as I can to not be an annoyance to other people. I’m one of those people who believes that all my opinions are right, but I also know that other people believe that they’re right too.

My dad, the wisest man on Earth, can sum up this entire rant with just one of his wise sayings: Listen more than you speak.

David Hancock