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I am still stubborn

By May 15, 2020 May 16th, 2020 One Comment

I was a strong-willed child. When I wasn’t allowed to do something or told that I didn’t have the ability to do it, I would do my best to prove the opposite. And while I no longer break a glass door with my fist or read books I was supposedly too young for, I am still stubborn. For example, when it comes to pursuing goals; when someone tells me they are not worthwhile, especially if this opinion is based on a slap-dash assessment. Or when someone says that I should just shut up and get with the program because that’s the rule.

 

Raised in Germany, I was taught to surrender to authority simply because someone wore a white coat or uniform. As an avid student of history, I realised at an early age how it was exactly this attitude that had created great suffering and tragedy only a generation before I was born. So I taught myself to step up and speak up, which, granted, took a while given that I needed to overcome my fear of punishment. Which happened. Sometimes it was justified, sometimes not, ironically, depending on the stubbornness of the person in charge. I persisted. Now I can have conversations with just about anyone about anything.

 

I know when to step back and allow acquiescence and acceptance to flow through me, particularly when I realise that my ego is getting the better of me. I can let go when I realise that I don’t have enough data and information or when I simply want to prove that I know better than someone else (and I admittedly sometimes google to prove that I am right).

 

I wonder what would have happened had I been born during the last decade. Yes, my parents struggled with my wilfulness, but they would have never thought to take me to a doctor to be checked for oppositional defiance disorder. Let me be clear, I am sure there are children who fit the label, but how many are diagnosed and medicated because it’s an easier path than teaching a strong-willed child the balance between assertiveness and stubbornness? What are your thoughts?

Angela Heise

Angela Heise

Angela has spent her whole life dedicated to understanding the ‘why’ behind human behaviour, to then be able to help people improve their life and relationships by better understanding themselves and others.

One Comment

  • Peter Yiamarelos says:

    Great article Angela. A bit of “roughing it” can help build character for the future. I don’t know of many ways that we can teach the up and coming generation resilience.

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