Why people put so much stock in reviews & opinions

We’ve all seen it – someone reviews a film, book or album and inevitably you get people in the comments almost having an aneurysm at the opinion.

But why? Why do some folk put so much stock in what others think?

I’ve done similar articles on things like subjectivity/opinion etc. and once again it all boils down to two things – insecurity and validation.

You all know that when someone says they either like or dislike something you will get the comments saying “You mad bruh? this was AMAZING!” or “I can’t believe you like this trash! No TRUE FAN would, so I’m unsubscribing”

People really seem to take a difference of opinion as some sort of personal attack, and it’s madness! There’s absolutely no practical reason for it at all. The movie/book/song won’t change, nor will your perception of it, so what actually is the issue?

The issue is that some people are so insecure in their own self-worth that if another person disagrees with them them self doubt starts to creep in. “Was the song really that good?” “Was the film actually as touching as I perceived it?”. The disagreement by the reviewer can be taken as an accusation of said insecure person being wrong or “silly”, and that leads to some inward feeling of shame or embarrassment.  Self doubt, especially in the insecure, inevitably leads to defensiveness (especially if said person has loudly stated how much they love/hate something beforehand), and so lashing out to protect one’s honour can be common.

Validation comes into play quite a lot as well. When we feel so strongly about something and are vocal about it then it can feel like we are emotionally opening up to the world, and so when someone agrees with us then it is incredibly validating to the psyche. We feel important, loved and most of all, we feel like we are doing life correctly – something all of us often think about a lot of the time.

There are people who literally cannot wait until their favourite reviewer gives an opinion, becasue that need for validation is so starved it’s almost hysterical, and these people almost go off the rails when the reviewer’s opinion is different.

It’s a sad indicator that there really isn’t much security of any sort in the modern world. Job security is almost non-existent and paying a compliment to someone is either taken with suspicion or is often branded creepy. Either that or this odd admiration for acute stoicism in the world means that expressing admiration or excitement about a topic is often seen as a weakness, so even if a person really likes something or someone they won’t say it. The tough guys out there should realise that being expressive and positive won’t make you gay.

All this means is that we’re left with a population who have no choice other than to self validate – and this usually comes in the form of being judgemental. Sadly, this is fuelled by newspapers and media who actively encourage hate, division and an opportunity to look down on a particular group, because it gives the insecure population that burst of self validation when they read about some dole scrounging scum or overweight celebrity.

It also means unhealthy reactions to other people’s opinions as well. You shouldn’t need someone to agree with you to warrant feeling good after listening to that song, nor should you feel insulted or angry if someone disagrees with you on something you love so dearly.

If it brings you joy, even if everyone else hates it, then embrace it. On the other hand, if you detest something which everyone else seems to love, then just move on and focus on the things that do it for you. They’re not seeing something which you may have missed, and you’re not dumb for disagreeing with the masses.  It’s just different strokes for different folks man!

If you try to look any deeper into a puddle than is necessary then you’re going to end up with a sore head.


Author: Kitsune Mifune


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s