Dealing Resistance: How to Deal With Stubborn People | AIB
There is no single way to interpret what life is, what it implies for us. One of the consequences of this is that each person develops a more positive or more negative way of seeing things and a more flexible or more rigid mentality. Our identity is given by the way we learn to adapt to what is happening to us, our environment.
Some people tend to continually change their strategy depending on the results when they are applied to reality, and, whatever happens, keeps the same beliefs, opinions, and attitudes. In this article, we will discuss what it is to be a stubborn person, and what are the characteristics of this way of being.
5 Characteristics of Stubborn People
Stubbornness can be more or less positive depending on the context, but usually, it is a limitation that leads us not to want to separate ourselves from an idea or strategy no matter what happens. Let’s see how this is rendered into practice.
1. Proud of themselves
Stubborn people honestly believe that the right thing to do is to continue behaving as they do because taking a sharp turn in their attitudes, opinions, strategies or style of behavior can wear down their image, revealing that an error has been made or that they are merely imperfect people who do not know beforehand what will happen.
So, for them it does not matter so much the content of what they do, think or say, as the idea of showing themselves consistent in what they do.
2. Avoids exposing themselves
As it happens to us all, stubborn people are forced to improvise from time to time. What happens is that in your case there is an added risk that things go wrong, because if the initial decision they take turns out to be the wrong one, it is more difficult for them to correct themselves.
This is something that they know, and as a consequence, based on what they learn from their experiences, they prefer to avoid exposing themselves to situations in which they have to make critical decisions in an improvised manner.
3. The theory matters more than reality
For this type of people, in many cases, if the theory does not correspond to reality, it is the reality that is wrong. This does not mean that they have a strong desire to improve the world, given that to do so, it would be necessary to make a reliable diagnosis of the problem on which they are going to intervene. It means that they prefer to shield themselves in that mental rigidity so as not to face that their ideas may be wrong.
4. Interested in being seen as autonomous people
As we have seen, stubborn people want to offer an image of coherence and have a very reliable criterion of their own. That is why, although not all of them want to lead teams, they tend to enjoy the possibility of being seen as intellectual referents, people with a philosophy of life to consider.
5. They have dichotomous approaches
When clinging to a belief, stubborn people need to have a justification for not taking into account all opinions against what they do. Therefore, they often create “blacklists” that lead them to dismiss the ideas of others. Everything that does not give the reason in that sense is out of any consideration or self-critical reflection. That way doubts disappear.
What to do when dealing with them?
Stubborn people are the most difficult ones to deal with as they never admit defeat even when they are wrong. When dealing with people like this, follow these tips.
1. Do not laugh at their mistakes
This is important because it involves a clear confrontation. Sometimes, stubbornness can lead us to develop attitudes or behaviors that look like a caricature, but that is no reason to laugh at who keeps them.
Doing so will only create discomfort and will not make them leave their error, due to the generated cognitive dissonance: they prefer to believe that the other does not know what he says to assume his mistakes.
2. Enter the doubt
We have also seen that stubborn people are very radical in their way of thinking, and tend to look at everything that goes against the belief or strategy that keeps happening as something negative. That means that attacking that belief or idea directly will not be effective.
However, what is useful is to make the stubborn person begin to doubt them, drawing conclusions about what happens to take those ideas to their ultimate consequences.
3. Dignified exit
It is not necessary to be clear that what was defended with stubbornness was absurd. Whoever has clung to a belief or attitude radically will hardly do so in the short term. It is enough to ignore what happened and give the other person the opportunity to stop defending it blindly without raising laughter or critical comments.