Balance is the key to success in so many areas of life…
You don’t want to be too hard, yet you don’t want to be too soft.
You need to be confident in your own abilities and knowledge, but you also need to be able to recognize when you’re wrong and acknowledge someone who may know better.
Most great things are not built solo – they are a team effort. Friendships, relationships, businesses, any collaborative effort really; they form when people unite and work together.
The lesson is clear: don’t let your stubbornness get in the way of meaningful progress!
But, working to curtail stubbornness doesn’t mean you should allow yourself to be walked all over or abused. Sometimes it’s necessary to hold your ground when you know you’re right.
The goal to strive for is to ensure that any negative impact on your life or well-being is calculated into your decision making process as part of your consideration.
Because sometimes you will get dinged in the spirit of compromise and working together, particularly in personal relationships. Other people will too.
Stubbornness can turn quite toxic in different areas of life because stubborn people tend to not consider the emotions of the people around them. This makes those people feel as though their emotions or thoughts are unimportant.
That is a quick and efficient way to completely destroy trust and set whatever progress you’ve made back.
How does a person stop being so stubborn?
Well, a lot of that depends on why you’re stubborn.
Why Am I A Stubborn Person?
There are some people who have a wholly self-centered point of view. They simply do not view the people around them as being capable or able to perform at the standards they desire.
They look at an action or the choices of the other person and decide that they can do it better themselves! They think they are perfect. Infallible.
Why bother trying to work with or understand another person’s point of view when they aren’t going to get it right anyway?
This extreme of stubbornness may point to some personality issues in the person, like narcissism.
But… this is not most stubborn people.
Most stubborn people are not so self-consumed that they can’t work at all with anyone else.
Many are not stubborn all of the time, just at specific moments when that particular trait is triggered in them.
It may be tied to that person’s self-image. They may not change things because they feel that’s who they are. They might need to do things a certain way because they feel that’s how it should to be done.
Some people feel that stubbornness is the only way to get what they want or need out of life.
They refuse to work with others because they see compromise as a weakness instead of the strength that it is.
That person may have been taken advantage of or overlooked for their past contributions, and so they go to the extreme to ensure that it doesn’t happen again.
And then you have the people who simply need to feel like they are in control. That can point to a number of different problems such as mistrust, insecurity, or general anxiety.
The lack of control can feel upsetting because it ties into a mental process that they are subconsciously trying to eliminate by exerting control over the situation or their surroundings.
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How Can I Stop Being A Stubborn Person?
1. Reserve judgment on the other person or course of action.
People tend to jump immediately to a conclusion on what they feel is going to bring a positive or negative outcome. Many people don’t realize the power of the third option – reserving their judgment.
Instead of coming to a positive or negative conclusion, simply take in the information and consider it. That will keep you from jumping immediately into an emotional response.
Humility isn’t about being lower than another person. It’s about holding everyone at an equal level, including yourself.
In doing so, you can stop making snap judgments about another person’s thoughts, their competence, their choice of actions, or how they go about living their life.
They may have good reasons for making the choices they make. Reasons that you may not be aware of. Reasons that you have not considered.
2. Remind yourself that you are only human, and that you are not always right.
An ego check should be a humbling thing. A person needs to remember that they are but one mind in a sea of billions.
There are so many other points of view and perspectives out there, as well as people who have devoted their lives to understanding certain subjects.
You’re not always going to be right and that’s okay.
Nobody ever is.
That’s why collaboration and outside feedback can be so helpful in your life.
You’re entitled to your perspective and opinions, but so is everyone else.
3. Use small steps to build trust with other people.
The act of using small steps to build trust with other people gives you the opportunity to see what kind of person they are before making a significant investment.
There are some people who let any amount of freedom or power go straight to their head. They are usually pretty easy to spot when they are given enough leeway to demonstrate who they actually are.
This is a good first step if you’ve had problems with people abusing your trust in the past.
It’s not necessary – or even a good idea – to just throw open the doors and trust someone wholeheartedly without any kind of screening. That will just see you taken advantage of by toxic or destructive people.
4. Let people have their own way on matters of importance to them that are not negative to you.
Compromise is a skill. Sometimes it means letting a person have their way on something that they feel is important.
You don’t have to be the primary decider or driver behind every decision. Plus, it gives the added benefit of letting other people feel invested in whatever it is you’re trying to accomplish.
The ability to compromise fosters closer relationships and deeper trust.
Do not stand for abuse or being taken advantage of, but do let other people have their own way on certain things, even if it means not doing things as efficiently as you would like.
It’s helpful for people to learn by doing, and that goes for relinquishing control and letting another person take the lead.
The key is to first consider how important a decision or task is to you. You’ll find it difficult to relinquish the reins over things that matter a lot to you.
So let other people take charge of more inconsequential matters where you won’t feel the burning desire to step in and make them do it your way.
Afterwards, consider how it felt to let the other person take charge. Consider the benefits it had such as not needing to spend as much of your own time thinking or planning.
Was it really as bad or as hard as you thought it would be?
5. Be patient and kind with yourself as you strive to make these changes.
Change does not happen overnight. It’s challenging, requires time, and takes consistent effort to alter a core part of your personality. Stubbornness is no different.
You’re probably going to make mistakes and slip up. You’re going to make bad decisions and have things not go right. You’re going to dig your heels in when you should let go and let go when you should stand your ground.
That’s okay though. It’s all part of the overall process of self-improvement.
Forgive yourself and try again if you mess up. The more you do it, the easier it will get with time and practice. Eventually, your stubbornness will evolve into healthy and case-specific assertiveness.