Occasionally I have quite strong opinions.
Sometimes I have a tendency to froth and rant about my opinions.
Every now and then I become positively vehement in my opinions.
Unfortunately, I have a woeful inability to cope with other people having different opinions to my own. I can (more or less) cope when people on the internet disagree with me, though at least once a day BigBear is forced to say "don't read the comments...." to me, as he spots me perusing The Guardian website. And sometimes he has to wheel out the big guns.
What I really struggle with is having very strong opinions on something, and then discovering that a friend or relation has the outrageous temerity to hold a different opinion. You might think that this gets me riled up, and ready to start proselytizing, hovering and waiting to pounce with my killer arguments and persuasive rhetoric. You might think that me and my opinions are desperate to convert others to the rightness of our ways. You would think wrong.
Just recently I have discovered that a friend holds a diametrically opposing view on a socio-political matter. And instead of being happy to discuss the subject, or stand up for my own viewpoint, what has actually happened is that I have become fearful and anxious. I have lain awake at night worrying that she will no longer want to be friends with me, or that I will start an argument that irrevocably damages our friendship, or that my firmly-held opinion is in fact indefensible and not only this friend, but scores of others, will start backing gingerly away from the crazy-lady in the corner. I feel slightly sick and definitely panicky at the thought of the next occasion when we see each other - will the subject come up? Will she mock my views? Will she ignore me? Will she treat me with disdain? Are other people talking about the crass stupidity and ignorance of my outlook behind my back? Am I going to become a social outcast?
Do I think these things because this is how I treat any friend with a different opinion?
Do I think these things because this is how friends with different opinions have ever treated me?
Do I think these things because I'm an insecure mess who's capable of holding a strong opinion right up until the moment someone questions it, and then I want to run away and hide just in case everyone hates me after all?
This is what it's like to be me.