I am a very opinionated person. I like it about myself, but it's been a thorn for me as well. Because while I have my own opinions I've always felt like everyone should have the same opinion as me, really. I think that's part of why I've had a hard time keeping friends over time-I end up speaking my mind when I should have kept my mouth shut.
Something that's changed and is continuing to change in me is my need to persuade everyone to my side of an issue. I've finally learned that my opinions and ideals govern my choices but when people choose differently than me, that is their choice. Since I don't have to deal with the consequences of the choices someone else makes, it truly shouldn't bother me.
It's still difficult for me when I'm passionate about something to remember that I don't have to deal with the consequences so the choice isn't mine to make. However, I've finally come to terms with actually letting their choice be their choice and not thinking beyond that. I'm still happy to help persuade someone to my line of thinking if they are on the fence, but I've become so much more accepting of people's different choices.
I know to some people this may seem like it's not a big deal and why has it taken me until I was in my 30s to figure that out? Or even be appalled that I felt a need to change people to my line of thinking.
Have you met my dad? I think that's where I realized it wasn't a good way to be. Example:
One time Tim and I were talking to my dad and he commented that he couldn't understand why or how someone would live in an apartment building in New York with no land. He wanted to know why everyone wouldn't want 20 acres out in the boondocks like him. (I tend to agree with him.) However, my astute husband said to him, "Well I'm glad all those people live in apartments in big cities, that way there's room for people like us to have some land. If everyone wanted land there wouldn't be enough to go around."
Our differences are what allows us to blend together to all be able to live our dreams. I began to examine myself and realized that I needed to change. But change is hard and it's long. I'm glad Tim sticks with me through it all.