I’m what you might call an… opinionated person. Stubborn, too. You can’t forget that. Although the combination of these two characteristics can serve me well, they’ve also occasionally landed me in hot water.
You see, I make my opinions known. Publicly and intensely. This leads to unfortunate bits of awkwardness when I change my mind.
A friend put it well on Facebook a few days ago, citing “that awkward moment when you realize you’ll probably go to the college you’ve been hating on for the last two years”. (Be aware, that may not be a perfect quote.) In a similar move, I now favor a college I dismissed for quite a long time simply because a lot of people went there.
The thing is, the more you oppose something, the more awkward it is to admit that you no longer hate it, maybe even accept it. For example, think of annoying homophobes/general haters of humanity like the WBC. If one of them changed their mind, what are they supposed to do? Laugh, chuck their sign in the trash can, and say, “Psych”? Not to mention that often, when you’re so entrenched in a belief, your entire life reflects it. Your friends and family believe the same thing, you frequent places and activities that confirm your belief, etc. If you change such a drastic opinion, you might find yourself having to reshape your entire life.
I can’t prove it, but I’m willing to bet that a lot of people stick with bigoted beliefs long after they’ve gone out of style because it’s too embarrassing to recant them. If I’m unwilling to admit I enjoyed going to some museum that I complained about for two hours straight, how hard would it be to explain that you changed your mind about thinking other races were inferior? Perhaps one of the major roadblocks in the path of human progress is simple pride.