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It Takes Guts To Have An Opinion

Posted by on Feb 11, 2010

It’s hard to get mad at people who take the safe route and withhold their true feelings, in their own names, online. After all, sometimes people will say something that others don’t agree with, and no one wants to be derided for their feelings. Often, it seems the people who fear this the least are those with true hate in their hearts, those who could care less about everyone, only themselves and those like them. Those are the folks who believe it’s always better to be your ugliest self up front, then apologize later and say people took what you had to say out of context.

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I believe one can have an opinion and give an opinion without being too brusque or hateful. Sure, every once in awhile we all get a little heated in our passion, but that’s to be expected if you have a point of view. It’s how you express your point of view that determines the outcome of responses. For instance, if I boldly say I hate Rush Limbaugh (by the way, I do hate Rush Limbaugh), it opens me up to that bunch of wild eyed hooligans who believe every piece of trash that comes out of his mouth without question to write something here supporting him or castigating me.

If I feared that, I’d be inclined to keep my opinion to myself and never utter another statement; lucky for me, when these folks come out of the woodwork, the rest of us know where they are and how to deal with them, especially since, at least here, I don’t allow hidden or anonymous comments. Anyone who comments here has to give a legitimate email address, otherwise their comments are bounced. That’s one of the best reasons to have a comment policy, so no one can say they didn’t understand the rules of coming into space I’ve paid for.

However, if were to try to be a bit more genial in my description of Rush, and I were writing something other than this post, I might state instead “I totally disagree with every single point of view Rush Limbaugh has” and leave it at that. In that manner, I’ve expressed the same thing as hating him, but only in a nicer way. In that way, it’s less about him and more about my beliefs and thoughts.

And really, if you’re blogging, that’s what it’s supposed to be about, your beliefs and thoughts. There are two folks who frequent here that I see putting themselves out there all the time. Rose has taken on some subjects that others might find controversial, and has put her opinion out there on some things that not everyone agrees with, but at least she’s got the guts to do it, and I applaud her for it. Sire also does it on one of his blogs that most of you probably don’t know about, which I won’t write in full because, where we differ on the subject, is that I believe one of his terms is easily considered as controversial in America, a word I’ve never used and still won’t use, but where he’s from probably doesn’t connote the same feelings or meanings, that being his Load of BS blog.

Playing it safe has its places. My business blog is a lot less controversial at all times than this one, but I will take on racism on that blog because part of my business is talking about diversity issues. I also give a lot of opinions on that blog as it relates to business relationships, but my language is such that it’s more of an educational thing than a ‘fussing at someone’ thing.

I remember meeting a guy maybe 2 or 3 years ago in another city. I went down with a friend of mine who was part of a small panel on blogging. I was talking to him afterwards and asked him if the discussion was going to lead to him writing his own blog. He said no, because he didn’t want to hate people hate him if he said something wrong. To me, unless your opinion is a direct condemnation of others based on factors they can’t change, there’s no such thing as a wrong opinion. I thought it was too bad because this was a guy who seemed to have a lot of knowledge, and I think if he’d felt more free to write about things his blog would have done well.

One final thing. If you’re writing your blog now and continue to do it, great for you; keep on doing it. But if you’re writing about, well, nothing, get out of the water and take a stand on something, at least once. Yeah, controversy sells, but it’s more important to break out of your shell and actually show who you are every once in awhile, even if you know one or some of your readers might have a different point of view. It makes you imminently more interesting, and I think you’ll start to see your visitors and subscribers increase as well.

At least it’s worked so far for me. 🙂 By the way, did you remember that Valentines Day is Sunday?

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Not sure who this is directed at but some opinions are best kept to oneself.

I wrote a 3 page opinion piece yesterday and deleted it without posting it because I thought it was just harsh.
.-= Glen´s last blog ..Embrace Change =-.

February 11th, 2010 | 2:00 PM

You sound defensive, Glen. lol

It was aimed at everybody but no one in particular. Opinions best kept to oneself are those that will either intentionally hurt someone or those that have an ulterior motive. If one’s motives are pure, and one’s words are well chosen, then go for it. If you deleted something you wrote, either you changed your mind while writing it, weren’t fully convinced of your position, or worried about hurting someone’s feelings. I get that last one, such as telling someone you don’t like their new hairstyle, but that’s something that’s only the business of the person who changed their hairstyle, right?

By the way, how can we embrace change if we’re not willing to stand up every once in awhile and proclaim the change we’d like to see?

February 11th, 2010 | 3:23 PM

I read my initial comment. It does sound defensive, ha,ha..

It’s hard to take a stand when you aren’t sure you have all the facts. And I don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings.
I’m Canadian, eh..
.-= Glen´s last blog ..Embrace Change =-.

February 11th, 2010 | 6:36 PM

Worrying about hurting the feelings of others is good; I applaud you for that. However, if you’re worried about facts, they can be checked.

A lesson some folks don’t learn is how to economize when they’re making opinions known, or doling out criticism. For instance, making a statement like “my wife is a bad driver” then highlighting it might be true and accurate. Following it up afterwards with “seems like most women are bad drivers” is bad and inaccurate, and that’s where people get into trouble. It’s a mistake I never make unless I decide I want to cause trouble (who me? lol).

February 11th, 2010 | 10:58 PM

Thank you for the applause. I too like Glen have written things and then deleted them, because at times some things are best left unsaid.

There are other times you need to rant and share your opinion without fear of what people think of you.

February 11th, 2010 | 8:53 PM
Dennis Edell:

First as Glen pointed out, one should indeed have as much fact as possible before taking a definitive stand one way or the other…I think this is where many screw it up and come out smelling badly when called on it.
.-= Dennis Edell´s last blog ..Theme Construction Part 2 – What Should Go WITHIN The Blog? This Is The FUN Part! =-.

February 12th, 2010 | 7:17 PM

And then what, Dennis? You gave a first; you have to have a second.

February 12th, 2010 | 7:35 PM
Dennis Edell:

Hmm, I think I did at first, then forgot it. lol
.-= Dennis Edell´s last blog ..I’m Looking For Launch Partners – $20 OR Three DoFollow Links For You! =-.

February 13th, 2010 | 10:39 AM

Sure, and I’m the one feeling old lol

February 13th, 2010 | 1:08 PM

Maybe it does, maybe it doesn’t.

Sorry, I just couldn’t help myself.

February 13th, 2010 | 12:02 AM

Wuss! lol

February 13th, 2010 | 1:28 AM


I really have a hard time controlling myself with these kind of things, you just egged it on.

February 17th, 2010 | 5:07 AM

How’d I egg it on? I just write. lol

February 17th, 2010 | 9:08 AM

Mitch, you will see from the commentluv title below the topic on which I have firm opinion and about which I write quite vehemently. If however I keep on writing about it, I will lose all my readers. I introduce the topic at appropriate times and for the rest, enjoy writing about trivia and generally having fun blogging.
.-= Rummuser´s last blog ..Bomb Blast In Pune. =-.

February 14th, 2010 | 7:02 AM

What a horrible experience, Rummuser. And trust me, I know what you’re talking about as far as ranting all the time; I could easily do it myself. Still, every once in awhile you have to get it out, and I think you did just fine.

February 14th, 2010 | 10:35 AM

I am bad about not expressing my opinion on many things. In fact, when I insulted Sarah Palin I had to acknowledge that I am a registered Republican. Not that this dictates my vote in any way. I believe the majority of politicians are self-serving and guilty of what they accuse others of doing, regardless of their party. Wow, was that a middle-of-the-road stance or what!

I guess I feel for the most part my opinion is just that. I respect other opinions even when I disagree with them and since I don’t want to alienate people I tend to keep some things to myself.

And I agree that Rose & Sire do handle themselves well with regards to tackling things they feel strongly about. I can always respect that even when I disagree with their point of view.
.-= Anne´s last blog ..Coffee Deal & JCPenney Savings Newsletter =-.

February 21st, 2010 | 1:41 PM

That’s why it takes guts to offer an opinion, Anne. I don’t wear my heart on my sleeve, but I will state my case, then move on, and I’m ready to engage anyone in a conversation if it’s needed. However, I also try to temper my position with nonviolent words, so to speak, unless someone or something has really irked me. One can offer an opinion without being inflammatory or demeaning. As the Japanese say, you never take away anyone’s pride.

February 21st, 2010 | 2:45 PM

What, you have actually disagreed with something I’ve said Anne. That is unheard of 😀

Sorry I missed this post Mitch. I only found it because of Anne’s post.

There are some opinion’s I keep to myself but otherwise I’m pretty well out there.
.-= Sire´s last blog ..Where Do You Stand On Climate Change =-.

February 23rd, 2010 | 5:19 PM

No problem, Sire; I knew you’d be here eventually. And I think we all keep some opinions to ourselves, especially if we believe something that we know will be totally unpopular for too many other people.

February 23rd, 2010 | 5:45 PM

Yeah, and there’s no sense in starting an argument just for the sake of one now, is there.
.-= Sire´s last blog ..Where Bloggers Meet, A Forum For Bloggers =-.

February 23rd, 2010 | 6:10 PM
Dennis Edell:

“There are some opinion’s I keep to myself…”

Hmm, when might we see that happen buddy? 😉
.-= Dennis Edell´s last blog ..Do You Know The REAL Difference Between Bloggers and Internet Marketers? =-.

February 26th, 2010 | 9:35 AM