Obdurate, adj.

1. Unmoved by persuasion, pity, or tender feelings; not having empathy
2. Resistant to moral influence; impenitent
I’m learning the power of empathy. It has been a hard battle for me. I used to consider myself a people person, someone who was affable and relatable, and someone who cared about others. Tragically, I learned to harden myself in the effort to cope and protect myself from harm. I did this because of my job. On a daily basis, I have to relay bad news, unfortunate situations, and life-changing policies to people who feel powerless in many areas of their lives. They are scared for their well-being, and their fear manifests itself as anger, usually directed towards me. When I first started this job I would drive home crying because I felt like a terrible person. I would get home and sleep, because it was the only way I could disassociate from everything. I fell into a depression that I’m only now crawling out of. During this time I was an obdurate individual, telling people bad news with an unflinching stone face; but it was all a countenance. I was terrified another student would threaten me or throw another chair in my direction. My cynicism and pessimism won over, ruined my outlook on life, changed my relationships with people, and made me feel terrible. The obdurate feelings I had fed self-doubt, fear, anger, and depression. I’m not proud to admit any of this, but it happened. I lost some friends, a relationship, and I almost lost my job. Somehow the sun peaked out of the dark clouds, I went on a hot air balloon ride, and now I vow to live a life free of being obdurate, because I know that empathy is too powerful and important.
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This entry was published on April 7, 2012 at 4:06 pm. It’s filed under 30 New Words and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

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