40 ways to give your opinion - Jane Travis - Self Care for Busy Women
40 ways to give your opinion - Jane Travis

40 ways to give your opinion

​Picture this: you're having lunch with friends and someone brings up the hot topic of coffee preparation. Hold on to your hat grandma, things are going to get WILD!

She says the perfect way to make coffee is add coffee to the cup, then add water and milk last.  You know that's blatantly wrong, that the milk should and absolutely must go in FIRST.  It's the only way. It's both clear and obvious.  

I mean, durrr!

But you hesitate.  You want to give your opinion - and maybe you can educate some people into the delights of Milk In First (MIF), but what if people take umbrage and there's a conflict? 

Does your opinion go unheard, a fear of conflict or lack of confidence holding you back?

Don't worry, most people instinctively avoid conflict but ​armed with a few of these phrases in your toolbox, you'll soon be comfortable expressing your opinion.


​The anatomy of a disagreement

A couple of ground rules:

  • You have the right to your opinion (as does everyone else)
  • You have the right to respect (as does everyone else).
  • Disagreeing isn't wrong, you dont have to apologise
  • Speak with confidence, your opinion is every bit as valuable as someone elses
  • Listen carefully to other peoples opinions
  • Keep body language and tone of voice neutral
  • If you feel anxious, a couple of deep breaths will go a long way to calm you. 

Start Positive:

Pointing out something positive or that you agree on something before you give your opinion shows that you have listened, and make it more likely that your opinion ​will also be positively received.

1.  I see what you mean, although...

2.  That's true: On the other hand...​

3.  That's good advice, however...

​4.  That's very interesting, yet...

5.  I know where you're coming from, but I'm not convinced that...​

6.  I agree with you to a point.  All the same...

7.  ​Perhaps - but I can't help thinking that...

Notice the alternatives to 'but' I used. 

Discussions don't have to become arguments, they're simply a way to share ideas.

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'I wonder' is a gentle way to offer your opinion:

8.  I wonder if it's the same for XXX, because...

9.  I wonder if that's true in all cases? For example...

10. I wonder if there's a more simple answer, like...?

11. I wonder if there's another way, like...?​

But it's fine to be direct:

12. I don't see it that way

13. Actually, I think...

14. In my opinion...

15. I take your point, but that's not how I see it...

16.  I disagree with that

17. The way I see it is...

18. That's very interesting: However, I disagree...

19. ​I can't agree

20. Yes, but...

Opinions - Jane Travis

21. My view is...

22. It seems to me...

23. To my mind...

24. Personally...

25. I reckon

26. In my view​

27. All things considered...

28. If you ask me...

29. To be frank

30. I believe...

31. It's a difficult issue, but...

32. As I see it..​

33. For me...

34. I've always thought that...​

35. It could be said...

36. You could say...​

And to bring a discussion to a close:

37. We'll have to agree to disagree

38. I'll have to look into that

39. I'd like to have a look at that book/film/article you mentioned

40. Thank you, that was interesting​

Things to avoid

​You aren't doing anything wrong, so you don't have to either apologize or sound apologetic:

  • I'm sorry, but...
  • I'm afraid I disagree
  • I don't think I can agree
  • I'm not sure it's the best idea

One more thing.  

​Some people like nothing more than a good 'debate', only for them, debate means belittling, humiliating and proving the other person wrong to make themselves feel superior.  These people are sometimes referred to as 'bullies'.

I've learnt that whatever crap they spout - and by crap, I mean they like to attack things that are dear to people just to get a response -  it really is just best to let it go over your head and not get dragged in.  ​Ain't nobody got time for that!  

​We learn a lot from conversations with people who hold different views.  An open mind, and the ability to listen and contribute means everybody wins, and you gain a little more self knowledge.

​Don't just hope life will improve -

take control and make it happen today

About the Author Jane Travis

Hi, I'm Jane, and if you're the one that cares for and supports others, that gives and never takes and are exhausted because you put your own needs last, then you're in the right place. It's great to have you here - I hope you stick around!

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