An addendum to my list of flaws and shortcomings

Last week I posted a list of my shortcomings and flaws and asked for any other suggested additions to the list. Not surprising, there were plenty of suggestions.

One of my friends from high school, who is now a licensed clinical psychologist, analyzed my list of flaws and made this comment:

Starts off with a strong hint of Asperger's (and Feeding Disorder), moves into a touch of Oppositional Defiant Disorder, then gives us probably the most likely DSM diagnosis - Simple Phobia (needles).

To be honest, that analysis hit a little too close to home for me.

And when I read the comment to my wife, she was uncomfortably agreeable to all of my friend’s comments as well.

Nevertheless, I offer you five additional flaws to add to the list. Each of these have been vetted and approved by the committee of two who know me best:

My wife and my best friend of 25 years.

The additions to the list are:

  1. Bees kill me dead.
  2. I am incapable of carrying on small talk for any length of time and become extremely irritable when forced to do so.
  3. I pout and become sullen and sometimes inconsolable when the New England Patriots lose a football game.
  4. I lack compassion and empathy for adults who are not very smart or resourceful. While some might argue that this flaw was already covered by item #6 of the original post, it was agreed by all that this is an important distinction.
  5. I can be judgmental about things that I have limited knowledge of and are inconsequential to me.

While this last item survived the vetting process and made the list, it is the suggested flaw that I disagree with the most.

I find nothing wrong with formulating an opinion on a subject based upon the information that a person possesses, even if the person’s understanding of the subject is incomplete, as long as the person is flexible in his or her thinking as more information is acquired.

The example cited by my friend was my opinion of yoga.

No, I have never attempted yoga, but yes, I think it’s kind of stupid based upon what I have been told by people who do yoga.

Am I really supposed reserve all judgment on yoga until more data is obtained?

Is there something wrong with formulating an opinion based upon the data I have already acquired?

Must every opinion be based upon a full and complete analysis of a subject?

If this is the standard, how can we have opinions about anything unless we are experts in the field?

When I try yoga and discover that it is not stupid or am convinced by someone that it is not stupid, I will be more than willing to alter my opinion.

In fact, I have paid for 20 yoga lessons via a recent Groupon that I am just waiting for the opportunity to use. So although I have already formulated an opinion on yoga, I am also aware that there is more to learn on the subject and that my opinion may be flawed.

But still, can’t I have an opinion on the subject?

It should also be noted that this flaw only seems to apply to negatively-held beliefs. If my opinion of yoga was positive despite my lack of personal experience, I don’t think my friend would consider my ill informed opinion to be a shortcoming.

Only when the opinion is critical do people complain.

I find this intellectually inconsistent and stupid.

But I’m willing to hear more on the subject.