How can I give my opinion without sounding defensive?

in general, I mean it's hard to state your opinion in a diplomatic way without sounding opinionated or defensive.
Especially when you are challenged haha


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Most Helpful Guy

  • Hmmm... by making pauses, and sounding as if you're not totally certain of what you're saying, always leaving room for improvement. By using non-committing words such as "sometimes" or "maybe", or something like "I'm not sure, but..." leaving an open end for discussion and doubts. When they get back on you, you don't need to get defensive and say "I said MaYbE!!!". But rather repeat the same ideas, with the same non-committing tone.

    This way, your point will still get across, and you don't need to state that you're a firm believer of something (even if you are), and by using these words, the other person won't attack you (hopefully), and may give you criticism that can help you to get some reasoning behind your ideas/decisions.

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Most Helpful Girl

  • It's easier when you avoid using extreme or overly descriptive words. And also when giving an opinion about a person, describe their behavior, not them as a person. For instance, instead of calling someone a harsh name like jerk, asshat, etc, say they're were unpleasant, disrespectful, uninformed, etc.

    Also avoid using all or nothing verbiage. So often I see people refer to "women" in general or "all women". The truth is the world is filled with so many countless different people that never could every single person of a particular category (gender, race, religion, sexual orientation, political preference) have the exact same opinion, behavior, whatever. Just yesterday I saw someone write about how all whites are racists. That statement couldn't be farther from the truth. And I've read repeatedly that using that kind of language is detrimental to a relationship... that includes relationships of any kind, romantic or otherwise.

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What Guys Said 20

  • Just remember to say " in my opinion. That automatically tells the other person that your stand is just your own and you not trying to shove it down their throat. If they still get all butt hurt its because they just want to be combative and wouldn't want anyone's opinion that differed from their own

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  • I suggest not thinking on the fly. Type up or dictate your answer off-line and come back to it in 24 hours. Read it as if you were the other person, and ask yourself how you would take it? A bit of distance will help you spot unduly opinionated or undiplomatic language.
    Other tips:
    Avoid debate. It is destructive and negative. Victory and defeat. Winners and losers.
    Go for discussion instead. Goal is win/win, and it is an attempt to come to a mutual understanding of each other's position. Agree to disagree is a satisfactory outcome.
    If the other person is intent on debate, fuck 'em, the discussion is pointless.

    Another suggestion would be to stay as analytical as possible.
    What is the basis of the challenge?
    What are the premises of the argument? Overt and covert. Where is their head at?
    Are their premises valid? (IF not, then address that issue respectfully)
    - Example: a science fanatic puts out a challenge to prove the existence of God.
    - Hidden premise: Science is the only valid form of knowledge, and if there is no scientific proof then you must be wrong in your belief. You might respond by asking if they understand the limits of science. It might be helpful to consult a book on introductory logic. It's really just about knowing the difference between valid and invalid arguments, identifying premises and assessing if the conclusion follows from the premises.
    Does s/he fully understand where you are coming from? (see above re discussion vs. debate. Debaters by definition are not interested in mutual understanding)
    Do you fully understand the points being made? (If not respond with questions)
    Is the challenger receptive to a different opinion? (If not don't waste your time.)

    Good luck.

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  • A lot of it can just be the way you word things. However, some people just tell people they are being too opinionated or defensive just because they can't take a person that does not agree with them.

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  • It's difficult to explain. I just word my sentences in a way that will sound good to either part. trying to see it from both/all perspectives, is the first step.

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  • A practical trick is to first ask a question in a diplomatic way... first ask them for opinion and than give yours :D
    Like "Do you think many guys would like it if their girl hugged them on the street by surprise? I would be embarrassed to do that :-( ".
    Imagine he likes those surprise hugs? No worry there is his chance to tell you :D

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  • Depends on what the topic is I think. I think it's in the tone of your voice and like others have said, just state "in my opinion" or "I see it like this"
    Again, the tone of your voice and how you say it and come across is the main thing. If you're not getting upset and the "in your face" type attitude then you're fine. You can't control what others think about you, you might seem opinionated to some but whatever. Maybe you are on some things? Nothing wrong with your opinion. Everyone has one.

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  • You can try pondering why you are defensive :)

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  • Just try to stay calm. Try to understand their side then say something like. I can see where you can come to that conclusion but in my opinion ( state your opinion then) there are some hot Lebanonese women 😉 lol

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  • well, by stating your opinion, its kinda impossible to not be opinionated. I mean that's kinda the whole point xD But the best way to voice your opinion is to state it by relying on solid facts and without insulting the person you're disagreeing with personally

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    • lol yea yea you re right.
      but you get what I meant haha

  • It does get annoying when people always have to challenge what you say. You could just ignore them. Sometimes it's not always what you say but how you say it, the tone of your voice and the meaning behind it. Or you could try to be sneaky and change the subject.

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  • look out a window of a school, office, or public building, even a home. you see that 4 x 8 material flying? stars and stripes? that gives you the right to say what you want without fear!

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  • Its all in how...[Have you liked GaG on facebook yet?]

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    • I didn t get it 😅

    • Doensn't matter Archiz, thats the purpuse.
      I am quite fed up with the way this site is managed, i started to find it exploititive.
      GirlsAskGuys relies solely on its community yet they keep finding ways to shove more agressive adds down the throats of new users and try to monetize the content that the community makes in a far to agressive manner.

      So i began a quality boycott, i still only comment on opinions i would have posted normal advice and sometimes great advice is lost. Instead of posting the actual opinion i replace it with typical GaG ads to make sure the opinions are lost in value the same way the site has lost its value to new users.

  • Start your opinion by expressing your respect or understanding of the other opinion followed by: but; ... etc.

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  • eh... you know I'm the wrong one for this 😂

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  • Repeat back what the person says, explaining their opinion and say however because of this and this reason I do not agree.

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  • Opinions are made to be defended.

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  • Just roll with it and ignore the haters

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  • Just do it... don't worry about it...

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  • just be yourself dont think about that

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  • Before giving your opinion you should always first ask yourself why you are doing so. Be honest and if it isn't for the benefit of those you are talking to you are better off keeping it to yourself. Nothing good comes of a conversation started with a bad or selfish intention.

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    • you re right
      but even if the people challenge sometimes?

    • ^this too. i was gonna mention that also

    • Yes, people will even ask for your opinion then try to argue against it. When that happens I usually just say something like, "I was trying to be helpful, you can consider what i've said or disregard it, the choice is yours."

      I find if you were really sincerely were just trying to help it frequently comes through in your manner and they will consider what you have said. I will explain why I think what I do if the other person really seems to want to know but if they are just looking for a way to justify disregarding my view to themselves I don't play along.

      If they are really annoying or irrational I will sometimes lob a few logic bombs (pointing out contradictions or bringing up indisputable facts which screw up their thesis) it depends on my mood.

What Girls Said 9

  • Online it's always going to be some one who takes in wrong
    In person that is a different story it depends on your tone of voice

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  • Usually I use the phrase ''I personally beleive...'' so it's not imposing the idea on a person but just stating what you honestly think.

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  • Try to sound silly when giving your opinion?

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  • You will be challenged the rest of your life. Get used to it. Life is a challenge

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  • You shouldn't have to worry about sounding defensive. Who cares? You say what you have to say, and screw what other people think of that!

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  • Just don't make it personal and it won't come out as defensive

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  • Start with "to be honest, this is what I think..." or "in my opinion..."

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  • Always say "In my opinion." or "This is how I see it, from my side."

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  • Chose your words wisely

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