Do you ever feel like you hear things right when you need to?
It happens to me a lot. I think it’s because when I’m already focused on something, I’m more open to related ideas and to hearing what I need, but whatever the reason, it can feel pretty incredible.
In a yoga class a few weeks ago, we talked about opposition. In each pose, part of you is stretching one way and part of you is stretching the other way, and the opposition helps keep you balanced (or so I’m told).
Reflecting on the idea of opposition brought up new thoughts about something I’ve struggled with for as long as I can remember, and something I've been battling extra hard lately. I very often see both sides of an issue a little too clearly; I can see two distinct paths and see why each is both right and wrong (as much as something can be right or wrong—but that’s another conversation for another time). I can see how the future might look for each choice or how the future might have looked had a different choice been made, which can be paralyzing. I sometimes have a hard time making decisions, having a (meaningful) argument, or taking a stand on certain issues, and I often hesitate instead of making a leap or hitting “publish” or “send.”
But lately (especially after that yoga class), I’ve also been thinking that seeing both sides of an issue makes me empathetic, creative, and a good listener and advice giver. (Look at that—now I’m seeing both sides of the story as it applies to, well, seeing both sides of the story. Does it make your brain hurt, too?) As long as I don't let it get the best of me, and as long as I'm choosing to do it rather than letting it control me, I think it can help me.
And I think it can help you create better content.
If you present an issue in a way that makes it clear you’ve only considered one angle or are only willing to see one viewpoint, you may alienate those who believe something different. In many cases, this is fine—you want to attract those who align with you in certain ways. But in some cases, you may just not have given enough thought to opposing ideas before putting something out into the world.
So the next time you write something, think about what the other side looks like.
Imagine a friend or public figure you know feels differently and have an imaginary conversation with that person. (Insider tip: If you do this in public, maybe do it inside your head.) Then thoughtfully frame your writing to show that you have considered the other side. Remember that opposition provides balance; even if you don’t change your mind about the topic, I bet more people will buy into what you’re saying because they’ll see you’ve thought it out well.