I’ve been thinking about this for a week or so. I’m a very opinionated person. I tell people what I think, I tend to be absolute/black and white at times and I like to be right. These things can be very good AND very bad. It’s a catch 22 and I was speculating the why. On one hand, I know my own mind and am courageous enough to speak it. I am not usually afraid of peoples opinions (probably because I’m too busy voicing my own). Wanting to be right is pretty much a negative, because I find I’m less likely to compromise or yield if I feel I am right. In other words, when I am right, I want my way. That is not a quality to be proud of, in fact it’s a direct result of pride. Having an opinion on a matter is not necessarily a bad thing, and can be a indicator of self-assurance, intelligence and leadership (see how I just complimented myself there?). But any fool can have an opinion and most fools do. I have been the fool many a time.
Conversely, there are those whose opinion alway blends with others. They are easily swayed and persuaded. They don’t rock the boat. They are eager to make you think that they think JUST like you. They are always saying “Me too!” “I agree.” “You’re sooo right.”, they can be overly effusive with their praise and constantly checking and re-checking to make sure that everyone is happy with them. Their behavior and words are in constant check, because they don’t want to be appear as an outsider. Yet they are usually the ones who feel most on the outside, most insecure, most incapable of making people like them. So they are the chameleon, not because they don’t have opinions or thoughts, but because they value those thoughts and opinions as less than what others say or think. They are afraid those opinions will be negated or worse, ignored, and they already feel negated and ignored enough as it is. So they blend. When they are around the green people they become green, when they are around the red folks, crimson is their stain and when they find themselves among the brown, they pretend they are as a tree. And they can’t seem to shake the feeling that they don’t know who they are or where they belong. They never seem to fit, as hard as they try.
How can I diagnose this? I have been that person. I find that in youth, when we are most pliable and most wanting of identity at the same time, we will craft our lives to fit whomever we think matches us, and if we don’t, we match them. We’ve all seen or even been the girl who adopts all the hobbies and whims of the man she is in love with. We’ve all seen or been the person who changes their hair, clothes or verbage in order to fit the mold of the group we’re a part of. Some of this consciously or unconsciously. And oftentimes that sense of belonging is short-lived or worse, damaging, because our identity is still in question and our behavior is subject to our company.
So even with my brash opinions and need to be right, things I try to temper, I doubt I would trade that to go back to a girl who isn’t comfortable in her own skin, deriding the thoughts in her own head. Who am I now, while imperfect, is still me, flaws and areas of growth and all. At least now I know how to grow and what I’m growing into, instead of a chameleon, whose desires and whims change with whomever I am with.