Non-conformist is a label that I give myself when I realize that my opinion differs with everyone else's opinion, and my opinion, which I am usually passionately ready to die for, is likely to be very unpopular.
Having a label for myself like that insulates me a little from small minded people who disagree with me. Not all people who disagree with me are small minded, but I have run across quite a few. They want to make me unhappy, in addition to being unpopular, because I disagree with them. It is an emotional power play. Thinking people resist all such small minded attempts to force us to conform. I think that I learned this when I was a preschooler. I have practiced.
So, when other people call me a name for being different or disagreeing with them, I automatically insert the word 'non-conformist' in its place, so their label doesn't float around in my head and weaken my position.
I was caught off guard on Tuesday night, when a class mate called me unorthodox. To his shock and chagrin, I replied that, "Yes, I am." The implication being that he had to just deal with it because I had no intentions whatsoever of entering into the "What can I change to please you?" mind game.
Today, I looked up unorthodox and discovered that the first definition had to do with not conforming to established doctrine, and the second definition dealt with being unconventional.
It made me mad, but I got over it.
However, I thought that I should come up with some snappy comebacks, in case it ever happens again.
"Yes, I am unorthodox, but I don't recall ever hearing an original thought come out of your mouth."
"Unorthodox, sure I am. I bet that the last time you thought outside the box was when your mom got a new refrigerator."
"Unorthodox? Thanks. I didn't realize I had made it to the top of the heap."
What did I do that was so unorthodox? I asked a question. Actually, I asked permission to ask a question about a text we were reading outside of class. Of course, it was a question over a doctrinal point that I disagreed with, but he had no way of knowing that.
I am glad I am over it.
I am so over it. :)