I used to be a "go along to get along" kind of woman.
Never gave my "real" opinion unless it agreed with the person I was speaking with. Never said "no" to any request, even though I really didn't want to do it.
Differing opinions were not allowed in my childhood home and I found that out early--after a few slaps across the face from Daddy.
Then I married, one week after high school graduation, and soon found out, different opinions weren't allowed in that home either. Yet more slaps across the face.
One time, I do believe back in 1968, my husband, his sister and her hubs and I were all sitting in our living room discussing George Wallace and his campaign for President. I voiced my opinion of the man, which differed from the other three and I got yelled down into silence.
Then I married again, to a man who appeared to be very open-minded--until after the wedding. I was not allowed to watch any TV program that had blacks participating. This meant basketball, football, baseball, Oprah--nothing. The TV remote was thrown at the wall, the face slap came next.
Then, in a garden space that I was told was all mine and I could plant anything in it I wanted--after two days of planting, those plants were torn up because, "they aren't lined up right!" When I voiced my opinion that I planted them that way to differentiate from the rest of the garden, I got more than a face slap.
When I, by then realized, White Supremacist husband, started his rhetoric, I learned very soon to be quiet, or I might be chocked, slapped, beaten--whatever. You learn to be very quiet and pleasant when being held hostage by a terrorist.
Then, of course, at my job, my opinion was rarely asked. I was the secretary. I was the peon, who did all the work to keep the office running smoothly, but...that was it.
Then I was fired, because I was too old. (I was actually told that by the CFO). Did I sue? Of course not. I was scared. I probably was wrong in my opinion. He had told me in a weak moment and not testify or say I had imagined his words.
Then, I moved here and was all alone. Still not voicing any opinion about anything.
Then I met Fred who not only allowed my opinions on everything to be voiced, but was really interested in hearing what I had to say. Of course, it was easy because--we agreed on everything and...he thought I had a brilliant mind!
Then, my father died, which gave me even more freedom to voice my feelings and opinions. Then my step-mother died and no one left to tell me I was stupid in my opinions. FREE AT LAST. FREE AT LAST. THANK GOD ALMIGHTY I'M FREE AT LAST!
Then, after Fred died, and a couple of months of therapy, where I was told that it was quite all right to give voice to my feelings. Of course, not in an angry or threatening way to others, but to say what I felt IF I wanted too.
So--long ago and for many decades, I was liked by everyone! I was compliant. I was submissive. I just smiled and listened, even though in my head I was saying, "Wait. What?"
I raised my children to have independent thoughts, to express those thoughts and feelings--at least they knew they could with me, and they all seem to be much healthier, emotionally, then I ever was. As a result, I now have, Conservatives, Liberals, and whatever 3rd party is running.
I have Catholic, Methodists, Lutherans, Episcopalians and an Agnostic in the family.
I have gay and straight, pro-life, pro-choice and fence setters in my family.
I have gun owners and ones that wouldn't touch a gun, let alone have one in their home.
If I don't agree with them--it is quite all right. We voice our opinions and no one gets mad at each other--well, maybe one does, but then again, she isn't quite old enough yet to know everything she THINKS she knows.
There is something so freeing about getting old. You can be opinionated and voice those differing opinions and people just chalk it up to the fact that, you are senile and cranky. Just stop and talk to any elderly person. They've got opinions on everything! LOL
Plus, I have come to the point in my life where I don't HAVE the NEED to have everyone like me. I'm not stuck in that place I was for so many years. I can say "no", once in awhile and not feel too guilty.
Maybe it's because I'm old or maybe---could it be that I'm still the timid, "go along to get along" I used to be, but the people that ridiculed me are all dead or gone from my life? Makes it easier for sure.
(I still have to work on my Dar skills. :-) Maybe she will move and make it easier?)