I don’t often worry about other people’s opinions of myself; it would be entirely pointless, because I like who I am and do not intend to change any time soon, if ever.
But there is still a small group of people whose words do hit home every now and then: my family.
Does that ever happen to you? You could be in the middle of the most awesome day, enjoying the most fabulous moment, and then one of your most favourite people on Earth turns around and calls you ‘stubborn’.
Shocked face, exhale, quizzing look – in quick sequence, because you need a moment to collect your thoughts – and then you ask, ‘Who? Me?’ in the most outraged tone of voice you can come up with under the circumstances.
Because despite their smiles, backtracking and hasty explanations, you’ve already suspected that much before. You have been told, quite likely more than once, that you are a stubborn person, and you didn’t like it one little bit. There’s a touch of stigma associated with this word, people say it twisting their faces and sometimes even take a step back, away from you, as if it may be catching.
Well, I’ve had enough of it. I’m going to prove that I am not a stubborn person once and for all, so we all know where we stand on this subject.
You know you are NOT stubborn, because even if one of the statements below might apply to you, there are good reasons for it.
1. You know your decisions are always right. As much as you’d like to acknowledge the slight possibility that someone else might have come up with a simpler, more logical way of solving the problem on hand, deep down you just know there’s no chance on Earth that could ever happen. Ever.
2. You can always do the things people say you couldn’t. I mean, sure you could. If you wanted to demean yourself by responding to their provocation. Like you ever wanted to go bungee jumping.
3. You never make mistakes. Much as the well-coined definition of failure as ‘delayed success’, your deeds are eternally glorious. Or they will be, eventually.
4. Triumphant is your perpetual frame of mind. If ever in doubt, see point three above.
5. You always understand what everyone says. Even when it makes little or no sense at all. You nod sagely and affably when a friend explains a current predicament and, on occasion, you step in to make the matter clearer on behalf of the speaker.
6. If things have not turned out as you expected, that is never of your doing. It is probably the computer’s sub-standard design or a glitch in the software. Or the stars above are conspiring against you.
7. Your sports team is always in the lead, even when you’ve lost. It was the referee’s flawed judgement, or the weather.
8. You only lose your way because the satellite navigation system is faulty. Obviously.
9. You would never describe yourself as stubborn. You are eccentric at times, persistent when faced with a difficulty and, most of all, always right.
10. You never say ‘I am not stubborn’. Why would you? There’s no need – everyone knows you’re right.
To summarise: I am right when I say I am not stubborn.
In conclusion, I am not stubborn.
I’m not, I’m not, I’m NOT.