“Oppositionality”: a tendency to fight against whatever anybody else says or suggests, no matter how
sensible their ideas.
When and why does oppositionality originate? Probably during the second year of life – the terrible
twos, when “no” = “I exist and I have a mind of my own.”
Healthy oppositionality: when you have just enough oppositionality that you don’t automatically go
along with what others say or want.
Habitual oppositionality: when you have become so good at opposing others that you automatically
say “no I won’t” to anybody and everybody.
: when saying “You can’t make me ” has become a big part of your personality, something that
you are proud of and even defines who you are.
: when you defy authority for the sake of defying authority.
Habitual oppositionality and the brain: this is an example of what is called negative plasticity, meaning
that the brain has developed a large network of myelinated (insulated) neurons that is activated BEFORE
YOU HAVE TIME TO THINK OR MAKE A REAL CHOICE about what you want to say or do. In other words,
you react with oppositionality immediately, automatically and irrationally no matter how reasonable the
other person’s statements or requests.
Habitual oppositionality and domestic violence: Do these phrases sound familiar?
“Don’t tell me what to do!”
“Get off my back. I’ll do __ when I feel like it.”
“I don’t care what you say. I’m doing it my way!”
“You’re gonna get hurt if you keep ordering me around.”