Copyrighted by Lorna Tedder. Originally published in Third Degree and Rising.

I can’t tell you the best way to convince me to do what you want me to do.

The Long-Awaited Honest-to-God Secret to Being Happy

If you really want me to go down that path, you can show it to me and then tell me all the logical reasons to take that course. You can explain the benefits of the path and the costs of not taking it. You can appeal to my emotions—usually fear and greed don’t work so well, though—or to my sense of honor. It’s probably just as well that you simply show me the path or let me find it myself and if it’s right for me, my intuition will take me down that path without any or much help from you.

So I really can’t tell you the best way to convince me to take that path. I can, however, tell you the best way to convince me to not take that path, and that’s to try to force me.

I have a long history in my career field of being exposed to a new path that I initially found interesting enough to explore and even planned to explore, but somebody somewhere would have to shortcut my decision and force me to make it in their favor, and that would make me stand back and give it some reconsideration. Whether it was the office politician warning me that disagreement might hinder an otherwise brilliant career for me or a control freak demanding my full compliance, sight unseen…I would quickly dig in my heels and refuse to go anywhere.

Strong-arming me would instantly make me wonder why or, if it was a decision I was leaning away from or strongly against, the manipulation tactics would simply confirm that I was best to stay far from agreement.

Such is the case now with something in my personal life. Where I might have thought I was just being silly or emotional about something and let it go, I have suddenly found myself being slammed into a corner, hard enough to make me realize that neither of us is playing around.

If ever I needed confirmation that my decision was the correct one, I have it now. And if ever someone else thought she’d convince me to take a certain path, nothing in hell—hmmm, quite literally—will now.