Stubbornness is not Humility

August 3, 2013
What To Do When You Disagree
August 17, 2013

One of my clients declared recently that “stubbornness is not humility”!  It got me to thinking about stubbornness and how it impacts people’s lives. The person with stubbornness is driven by a fundamental resistance to being forced to do anything or experience anything against his/her will. The basic stance is, “No, I won’t, and you can’t make me.”

Stubbornness is defined as:  Unreasonably, often perversely unyielding; bullheaded; Firmly resolved or determined; resolute.   This issue is often seen in people who deal with addictions.  But it is also seen in people who have stunted development!  So how do we break through the “bull headedness?  The following information was anonymously produced by a group of people to be made available to help others resolve stubbornness.  As it is good information, we wanted to pass it along, so here you go…

Being stubborn can end up ruining your chances in life if you don’t learn to put limits on your stubbornness. Sometimes standing your ground is important but so is compromise, so is cooperation, and so is collaboration. If you are finding that it is all about you when you put down that foot and firmly refuse to budge on anything, then perhaps it is time to start realizing that your demands are too demanding on others and are likely getting you alienated from activities, friendships, and even good job prospects. It is time to change and take charge of your wish to be so stubborn; temper it with the reality that all humans need to get along and none of us are perfect, nor right, a lot of the time.  So here are steps to help you resolve issues of stubbornness.

1.  Listen to the other side of the story. By hearing the other side, you may agree with some things, and disagree with others.  This at least gives you a chance to hear some things you may not have heard before, and also gives a chance for you and the other side to enter into some kind of agreement, making things easier for everyone, and maybe even create a friendship.

2.  Remind yourself that you are not always right. While listening to someone talk, you may think in your head that everything they say is wrong because you heard “the right way.” Remember that what you may have heard may not be the right thing and they could be right instead. And your opinion is not the only one that matters, neither is your knowledge necessarily correct. You have to accept that you learn something new every day, even if it overwrites something that you maybe thought you already knew.

3. Trust other people, not just yourself.  As mentioned – you are not always right. Trust that other people aren’t as selfish as you think they are. They’re not going to take advantage of you the second you stop fighting tooth and nail for your objectives. For the odd ones who do, it becomes apparent very quickly and you can then distance yourself, reminding yourself that what matters is, you did your part, you at least tried.

4.  Keep an open mind. Don’t have prejudice, or judge people. Enter any discussion and situation with an open, positive mind, allowing yourself to thoroughly rethink and consider any persons opinions before taking rash decisions because of the judgment that you may have at that moment.

5.  Be humble. Don’t always give people less value than yourself. Think about everyone as being equal. It’s okay to be confident, and have a good and healthy self-esteem, but overdoing it can make you appear stubborn and closed minded, not to mention snobby, self-centered and even mean.

6. Realize that being stubborn might be good in some cases. In a case where you know that you are right, or you are defending something dear, and in a case that the decision is yours to take, and the consequences are yours to face, then you might choose to be stubborn. Realize that these moments may appear at any time but are rare.  You won’t always know how to react when this happens so just go with your instincts!

 “In the face of an obstacle which is impossible to overcome, stubbornness is stupid.” –  Simone de Beauvoir


Omega J. Galliano
Owner/Therapist - MFT, LADC, LP - Meg obtained a Master of Science degree in Clinical Psychology and since college has been busy working in the behavioral health field. As a Nevada licensed marriage and family therapist, Nevada licensed alcohol and drug counselor, Minnesota licensed psychologist, and a Distance Credentialed Counselor, she has held various management positions in national corporations.