Tuesday, April 01, 2014

I Need More Information

The Man gets so frustrated with me sometimes, and while he's usually entirely right to be frustrated, sometimes I think he just doesn't understand.

Sometimes, in order to make a decision or form an opinion, I need more information.  Unless I know what I'm working with or have a better grasp of the situation, I don't participate in it.  He'll ask me for my opinion about something, and I'll tell him I don't have one.  "How can you not have an opinion about this!?"  Well, I just don't.  Either I don't know enough yet to form an opinion or it isn't something about which I feel I need to form an opinion.  Cue argument.

Recently, The Man asked me if I wanted to join a book club with him.  I said I wanted to know what book the club was reading before I agreed to join.  He said that knowing the book shouldn't be the deciding factor to joining a book club, and I argued that the book is the whole point to joining a book club and is therefore very important to know.  Why would I want join a book club in order to read a book I have no desire to read or discuss?  I'm sorry, I suffered through my entire formal education in that manner, and I dearly do not wish to repeat the experience.  He argued that the decision was more about whether to join the club than about whether I wanted to read a book.  I just don't work that way.

I struggle to explain why I don't form opinions about things.  He gets upset and calls me callous or unfeeling, and I feel guilty for not having emotions about things he deems "important."  He'll ask me how I feel about something the Catholic Church teaches, and I'll respond with a textbookish answer, "the church teaches this, and I choose to call myself Catholic, so I follow the church's teaching."  He hates that.  But honestly, I don't have an opinion.  If I spent my time to form an opinion, it wouldn't matter what I thought.  The church isn't going to change because I think differently, and I don't have a problem with the belief, and my following the church's beliefs isn't hurting anyone else, so why bother getting all opinionated about it?  (Like Purgatory.  Does what I believe really matter?  No.  Moving right along.)

Sometimes I need more information in order to make a decision or form an opinion.  Sometimes I just don't care enough about something or feel I need to put in the effort to do either.

Am I completely alone here?  Do you have moments where others feel strongly and you genuinely don't have an opinion?  About what do you feel strongly?  Lastly, is there anything about which you'd like my opinion (if I have one to give)?


Anonymous said...

Speaking from my past experiences only, I have found that in order for me to want to read a book, I have to be interested in the book. If I'm not interested in the book, it is doesn't make sense to spend my time reading it. I agree with you that in order for me to join a book club, I would have to know what books are going to be read and reviewed. I had a very good literature class in high school and the teacher let the class vote on what books we wanted to read. Majority ruled so most of the books were pretty good for me and liked by most of the other students. In college, I took a literature class and the professor made of read all different types of books. It was one of my hardest classes I ever had as some of the books we had to read were not enjoyable to me at all.

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Jules said...

Not alone there. I have to "process" things most of the time. Drives the Mr. crazy sometimes, but he is finally (after 17 years) getting the idea that I don't just have an instant opinion on everything. On some things, yes, I know what I want/like/believe; but on other things.. I need to process and either come up with an opinion or leave it in 'not-really-a-crucial-matter' land.