OC Emberton

To make better decisions, shut up

Opinions trap us.

Once someone holds an opinion publicly, they’re tainted. You know how bad it stings to lose an argument? To have others prove you wrong? That emotion – our need to be right – is powerful, and it clouds our judgement once we’re exposed to it.

Just look at any conspiracy theorist. You can rationalise anything. The leading force behind most debates is not logic. It’s people defending their integrity.

Indeed, the only people a debate usually affects are the quiet bystanders. Until you’ve stated your position, it’s easy to weigh up both sides even-handedly. There’s no emotional cost to it.

Once you’ve stated your opinion, you’ll instinctively expend most of your energies trying to prove yourself right, and everyone else wrong. There’s a place for that, to be sure, but don’t be too quick to get there.

If a decision is important, try keeping your opinions to yourself for a while. You’ll be giving your brain one less handicap to deal with.

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