‘I’m getting Nobel-Peace Prize for my Genetic works,’ proudly said a patient at Mental Health Institute. I’d been hearing this for quite some time as I was taking his case history. He has Delusion of Grandiosity. In fact, I abruptly told him that he cannot get Nobel peace prize and the award is only given to those who have done extraordinary work in their field. As expected, he got disappointed and walked away and I had some hard time to talk to him again. I’d figured out that I should not be so blunt.
I was reflecting upon this incident. We might not have a Delusion but we do hold certain beliefs and even contribute opinions, ideas, suggestions, and feedbacks. Interestingly, you have heard of political leaders, scientists, philosophers, etc. debate or even attack one another on opinions over certain issues, trying to prove their beliefs are true and perhaps even the best.
Probably you have struggled to convince yourself of an opinion of your own. In fact, we randomly weigh the various possibilities for the most ideal one. But when we strongly opine, it is likely to become a belief. And when we deal with beliefs, it’s important to respect and acknowledge them. Precisely because no two person looks at something from the same angle. You might have worked together as a team and had to take some important decision. When someone gives an opinion, it’s good to be conscious that we are dealing with a belief. The person might not be absolutely wrong or right about everything. But definitely the person has seen and sensed something, and might be right about something. And it is good to take into consideration the opinion which will shape the decision or make the plan better and clearer. However, if the opinion is wrong or might not be genuine and you have enough reason to counter the opinion, it is good to do it calmly and cautiously and make the person understand the limitations and drawbacks of the opinion, because as I’d said, opinions also becomes beliefs, although, they are shakable. The subsequent failure in dealing with beliefs evenly results in fatal consequences, as the person will show unwillingness to participate or become an obstacle in the process.
The patient taught me the beauty of respecting and acknowledging others’ opinions and beliefs even in the most disagreeable situation.