In Defense of Having Strong Opinions

It's easy to go through life by trying not to step on anybody's toes.

You can avoid confrontation for as long as possible. You can be the guy or girl that people like, but don't really have strong feelings towards. You can water your personality down so that you can fit in with all types of groups.

I had my toe stuck in this group.

I didn't like making people angry, but when I felt strongly about a certain subject, I made it known. I defended my opinion stubbornly whenever challenged. This wasn't the best way to go about making new friends, but I felt passionately about it and I hated being wrong.

My ego made it so that I could only have strong opinions. I had to make a change. But what should I do?

Would having weak opinions be better?

No.

That would only serve to make me a pawn, always agreeing and succumbing to other people's will. I didn't want to just be a yes man and just agree with everything.

I believe that you should firmly believe in whatever your values are. Do not be a flip-flop with this. People will respect the person who feels strongly and is stubborn, rather than the person who weakly believes in anything.

At the same time, you should be able to see why other people believe in their own values. Use this as a point to either strengthen your own views or agree with them.

People will constantly test you just to see how much resolve you have for your values.

I've had to defend my choice to be away from USC many times. It only makes me stronger every time I defend it.

If you want true confidence, you have to be willing to defend your strong opinion.

Whatever you choose to do, you’ve got to believe in your own capacity to succeed. People will doubt you and think your goals are impossible or dumb, but you have to stand behind your convictions. - Sam Altman, Y Combinator Blog