How to Analyze and Filter People’s Opinions [4 Steps]

By A. Yanina Gomez, Ph.D.

I don’t know if you’ve experienced this before but, I’ve met people who LOVE sharing their opinions and feedback without asking first. There are times in which they are constructive and fruitful, yet other times they can be very destructive and unwelcome. People just love to share their opinions! My husband and I have a teenager and a tween. Still, people are happy to tell us that we should have another child. Can you believe this?

“Good grief!”

In my experience, there’ are still people that are authentic and totally real. They show care, compassion, honesty and have a legitimate desire to help and see you succeed. They might be where you want to be, have walked through your shoes or perhaps is someone who truly have your best interest in mind.

And, there are those who enjoy sharing their pessimistic and senseless opinions. Somehow, they believe that they are helping you. Others simply don’t have your best interest in mind.  Those who say that you should stop daydreaming and get a real job!

To top it off, you have those who are surrounded by either a gray or a dust cloud (picture a depressed Pigpen from Charlie Brown) and willingly transfer their negative vibes to you. Those who always see the glass half empty and say over and over again that life simply sucks.

When it comes to taking in the opinions of others, let me give you 4 suggestions:

1. Be selective & choose wisely.

Seek and only consider the advice and opinions of authentic people (e.g., family, friends, acquaintances or simply someone you admire) and those who have arrived at the place you want to be. They seem to get the big picture and focus on possibilities.

2. Detoxify your inner-circle.

Stay away from toxic people! When you surround yourself with pessimistic people, you will likely become influenced or affected by their negative energy one way or another. They will point out all possible horrid scenarios and fail to see the possibilities. You have to intentionally let go or gradually invest less time and energy on toxic relationships until they fade away. You don’t have to answer every call, text or message from this person. Reclaim your space!

3. NEVER internalize the words of others without analyzing and filtering the source first.

I encourage you to NEVER accept nor internalize negative and antagonistic words that are delivered to you. Is the feedback coming from a toxic person? Then label it as a toxic feedback. Whether this person is close to you is irrelevant. Is it coming from someone who authentically cares about you and wants to see you grow? Consider it. It’s your choice! 

4. Invest in relationships that truly matter.

Invest in those who choose to help you grow rather than pulling you down. Be grateful and give back to those who give so much to you. As Jim Rohn once said: “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” So, choose wisely!

Which of these strategies are you finding to be effective when it comes to filtering and letting in (or out) words from others? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

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