Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Y: Yield (A-Z Blog Challenge: Evocative words)

When to stand your ground and when to yield. It's one of life's great questions.

It's a question we face hundreds of times a day, each time a conflict moment comes. And, if your life involves other people, there is bound to be conflict.

A person who always insists on having her way is in for trouble.  Then, again, so is a person who never insists on her rights. You can't live your life as a closed door anymore than you can live it as a doormat. In the extremes, neither is a viable position.

Either you end up like Dr. Suess's north-going Jax and south-going Jax, trapped in a standoff while the world whistles by you, or you're laying there wondering what just ran over you.

One of the characters in my current WIP struggles with this. Patricia O'Neill (of the, as yet, unpublished Going Through the Change and the, as yet, untitled sequel) likes to get her way. So much so that she tends to steamroll the people around her into doing what she wants. She's observed that many people are doormats, especially other women. All it takes is someone with a little force of will and the tide opens before her parting like the Red Sea. Patricia strides through in her designer suit, tossing a quip over her shoulder.

That is, until she meets Linda/Leonel Álvarez. Before her sudden transformation into a man, Linda would have been intimidated by a woman like Patricia. She would also have felt sorry for her. She's sure that someone that pushy must be terribly lonely. When the two try to work together to defeat the mad scientist who has messed up both their lives, they butt heads in a serious way. As they find their way through their new abilities and the problems that come with them, they find that they need each other. Linda learns to insist on taking the lead--at least when she's sure she's right, and Patricia learns to yield--at least when Linda might be right. It's the start of a beautiful friendship, as they say.

I've had such a wonderful time writing this friendship. The give and take has been exciting to shape. In fact, I want to get back to them right now. Patricia's gotten herself kidnapped and Linda/Leonel is trying to find her.  I can't wait to see what happens! (don't you love it when it's going so well you feel like you're just along for the ride?)

This post is part of the Blogging from A-Z Challenge.


  1. I yield way to often. I'm a strong person with my own life, but I too easily bend and try to be invisible out in the world. I keep waiting for the day I'll turn into a cranky old lady, but it may not happen. I'm pretty happy just being happy.
    Marlene at On Writing and Riding

    1. Public attention is a tricksy critter. I don't blame you for being gunshy. I'm a bit that way myself!

  2. When to yield and when to stand? It comes down to two things, I think. First, having a non-negotiable moral standard at your core. That will always keep you anchored, and help you when you're not sure. The second is to learn to see beyond the issue, and whether it's a "hill to die on," or whether it really doesn't matter in the end. Especially if a more important issue could be impacted by your intransigence.

    That's what I think, anyway. :)

    1. You hit on two good points, Colin. That moral standard at the core--a sureness of what you think is right and wrong. Many people waffle too much, afraid to take a stand. I like your phrase "a hill to die on"--you're right that some of us fight tooth and nail over little more than dryer fluff.