That’s interesting. What situation would lead a person to rebel against pressure by doing the opposite of what they were asked to do, say, or think? Let’s see – childhood? Lots and lots of situations, children don’t generally have control of their world for the very good reason that they are not yet experienced enough to make every decision for themselves. Kids don’t always realise this, or appreciate that their parent or guardian is trying to guide or protect them. The same applies right up to the teenage years, and in many cases, beyond.
For adults, the situations where one could or should rebel can be far more serious, or the result of immaturity, or just plain common sense. If confronted by a criminal who wants to take something from you, there is certainly going to be a moment where you will not want to capitulate, but the risk of doing the opposite to what that person “asks” of you may far outweigh the desire to refuse. Case in point: When I was in my teens, on my way to the supermarket one dark December evening, having been charged with paying for the Christmas turkey and ham by my mum, I was confronted by two chaps who grabbed my handbag and demanded I let it go. Without thinking about this much, I gripped the bag tighter and instead of backing off, yelled and swore right into their faces (I mentioned my temper in a previous post in this series). I kicked their shins and bellowed “fuck off, fuck off, fuck off, ya bollox, fuck off”, ad infinitum. (My vocabulary narrows in tense situations). As it happens, the ruckus caught the attention of passers-by and the two villains were seen off. But it could have gone horribly wrong for me. Older and wiser, if the same happened again, I would probably just let the bag go, trundle home, and complete an insurance claim form.
However, if I managed to bypass those villains, and got to the supermarket with my shopping money intact, I would be faced with another type of pressure – you know… it starts with a brightly-coloured price tag that states “buy three, get one free”, and as you move along the aisles you see a notice that says something like “Special Offer: 10 Euro, 10% reduction – save 1 Euro”. That’s where I balk and tell my self if I don’t buy the item, I’m actually going to save the whole 10 Euro.
On a more serious note, you might like to visit Everyday Rebellion – a site which promotes a cross-media documentary on non-violent self defence. Not sure if the people behind this are completely altruistic or if there is a hidden agenda, but the premise is very interesting.