Today my small group–specifically the girls in my small group–confronted me about being too opinionated. They confessed to feeling very alienated when they have an opinion that differs from mine, and I give them that withering stare that says, “How could you even think of disagree with me on such an obvious moral/ethical/integrity-related issue?”
I truly, sincerely don’t know what to do about this. I’ve toned down this aspect of my personality when it shows up in other contexts: judgmentalness, religiosity, condescension, intellectual superiority. But here we are talking about actual moral issues and I can’t just tell that part of me to “tone it down.” With ethics, it’s not simply a matter of telling myself not to get too judgmental… whether or not I voice that opinion, that heated opinionated beast is still bubbling up inside of me.
The weird part is, I’ve noticed that it’s only ever females that get bothered by this. It’s definitely not the first time. Maybe it’s crazy talk, but I feel like when the issue of my opinionatedness arises with guys, they usually take a step back and either peg me as getting too worked up over something, or go the other way and actually respect me for it. Yet, with the girls that I’ve encountered, I almost feel like it becomes this really weird Mean Girls/jungle animal/alpha female issue. It’s as if some girls (myself included) can’t stand watching another girl have a loud opinion, especially when it’s shutting down her own. And I completely acknowledge that I feel the same way in the presence of another female commanding the attention. The problem is I just don’t know how to fix it… or if I even want to.