People have described me as difficult too often in my life. The word, unsurprisingly, has come to span a lot of aspects of my personality. My high standards, my stubbornness, my constant need for more. Whenever people had trouble handling me, or making me content, they shoved me in a dark corner with a big Difficult label hanging over my head. Like a dunce cap, but less literal.
I hated it.
Why should my idealism be a source of struggle? Was my determination really that hard to work with? Maybe I was in denial, or maybe I just like myself a little too much, but I could never see the problem there.
Until one day, I did. I was fighting myself over a task I had to finish. I was tired and uncomfortable, but I kept stressing myself to finish the job perfectly and respectfully. Eventually, I just broke. That’s when I finally used the D word on myself. Let’s just say, it didn’t end well.
Am I difficult? Maybe. Depends. Probably, but I am about to make a case for difficult people. Yes, it is solely based off my own experience and can possibly not be applied to everyone. But it’s on my mind, and I want it out of it.
Here’s a list of my most difficult traits:
- I’m opinionated. It’s hard to be around someone who sometimes knows exactly what they like or dislike and will not settle for less. (And is very likely to keep badgering you until they get it). I know this, and I accept it. I like forming opinions on things.
- I’m stubborn. I would try to deny it, but it’s true. I’m a lot less stubborn than I used to be, but some areas of my life I will not stop fighting.
- I’m idealistic. A lot of people argue that this harms me more than it bothers people, but that’s not true. I like being idealistic. It makes me feel like I’m fighting for something good. Most people think I’m delusional and willingly set myself up for heartbreak. Most times, they’re right, but they day I lower my expectations for the world is the day I give up on what I believe in.
- I’m unforgiving. It’s a flaw of mine, and I try to work on it every day. It’s true though. I am unforgiving. When someone, or something, wrongs me or betrays my ideals, it’s hard for me to still hold faith. It’s hard for me to still positively about this situation. Everyone involved, including myself, suffer from it. So, I promise, I’m working on it.
- I overthink. It’s not necessarily in an unhealthy way, but I do do it. I overthink simple things, breaking them down to the tiniest parts that make them up, and then piece it back together, analyzing every step of the way. It’s a bit much sometimes, and it exhausts me, but I love doing it. I love understanding how things are happening, why they’re happening, and what could result from them. To everyone else, it’s tedious and draining. I’m working on keeping it to myself most of the time.
When I lay them out, my faults, they don’t seem too bad. I don’t know if it’s because I’m still in denial, but reading them listed like this makes me like being difficult. Yes, it’s exhausting. And yes, it is hard to deal with, but being difficult is complex. It’s layered, and it makes for interesting conversations and for people who just can’t take things as they come. If there aren’t people like me, I’d like to think not a lot would change in the world.
The point is, and I do have one, I’m difficult. I am. Truly. I like it, and not everyone should. But there’s a lot more merit to it than we’d like to believe. So, while I am working on my faults, I don’t think I will ever let the label change me because being difficult is a pain, but it’s also a huge reward.
Or maybe I’m finally getting that big head people were worried about.