by Kevin Burton
One adjective I have a hard time using properly is “stubborn.” I say it’s not a useful word.
It’s easier when I’m not talking about people, a stubborn stain I can’t get out of my jeans for example, or a stubborn headache I can’t get rid of. In that sense, stubborn means “difficult to handle, manage or treat.”
But when it comes to describing people, using the word stubborn is problematic.
My wife tells me I’m being stubborn from time to time and it always stops me, fries my brain a little.
I always say something like, “I’m either right, or I’m wrong.” I don’t see it as being stubborn. For practical purposes, I don’t really know what being stubborn is.
Merriam-Webster defines stubborn as “unreasonably or perversely unyielding,” in its first definition, but then adds a second, “justifiably unyielding, resolute.”
When you define a word starting with “unreasonably” then you go straight to “justifiably,” this is not a word that’s adding to clarity.
“Stubborn” has a negative connotation that I’m not willing to own when I am standing up for a point. “Resolute” sounds and feels much better.
“We often think of being stubborn as a negative trait, but being a little hard-headed comes in handy sometimes,” reads an article on the Power of Positivity website. “It helps you stand your ground and not give in to people out of peer pressure or guilt.”
“It does pay to compromise in certain situations, but you also have to know when to stand firm with people.”
We’ll leave for now the stubborn/resolute discussion, and go to the website’s seven traits of a stubborn person:
1.They have a strong will.
“Stubborn people never hesitate to follow through with something they genuinely believe in. If they have a vision, they will accomplish their goals, come hellfire, or high water. This mental vigor pays off because you can’t reach your destination if you have fears about even leaving the driveway. In other words, having pride enables you to stay consistent with your dreams and keep the momentum going even when you reach setbacks.”
“Those who have unshakable willpower don’t let life stand in their way, and they don’t cave easily under pressure.”
2.Stubborn people have a lot of resilience
“Those who have a lot of pride feel that they must do everything on their own. Nothing got handed to them in life, and they know if they want something, they will have to work for it. However, no challenge intimidates or scares away a stubborn person. They have the drive and indomitable will to shape reality how they see fit.”
“They will work 16-hour days if they have to in order to accomplish their goals. They don’t allow others’ opinions to ruffle their feathers.”
3.They won’t sway their opinion just because of peer pressure.
“A stubborn person won’t cave in an argument just because no one agrees with them. They’ll make their points, have evidence to back them up, and stand their ground. While some people will just go with the herd because it feels comfortable, a person with pride doesn’t let the groupthink mentality affect them.”
“No matter the topic, stubborn people bring a lot of fire to a discussion, expanding the minds of everyone in the room. Although, they sometimes have a difficult time admitting when they’re wrong, so it doesn’t always go both ways.”
4.Stubborn people have a passionate attitude about life.
“Because stubborn people don’t like to back down from a challenge, they have a lot of passion and vigor for life. Nothing seems off-limits or impossible for them because of their willpower and determination to get things done.”
5.They usually have a good work ethic.
“Stubborn people have high standards for themselves and enjoy getting the job done, no matter what it might entail. They typically do better working alone because of their sometimes combative nature, but if they can tone it down a notch, working in groups doesn’t present a problem.”
6.They may resist change.
“Stubborn people often have excellent resistance to change because they like to follow the status quo. Because of this inflexibility, this might just be their downfall. Life changes constantly, so it pays to have an open mind and a willingness to go with the flow. Stubborn people will have to work on their rigid way of living if they want to reach their potential truly.”
7.Stubborn people sometimes like to argue to prove a point.
“Not backing down in a discussion is one thing, but having a lot of pride sometimes means instigating arguments just for the sake of it. Stubborn people have an insatiable need to be right, and they see arguing as a fun pastime.”
Don’t miss the website’s final point on so-called stubborn people:
“No matter how you feel about stubbornness, new research shows that this personality trait might actually help you live longer,” the article reads.
“A study by the University of California San Diego School of Medicine and the University of Rome La Sapienza sought to find a connection between certain personality traits and longevity,” the article reads.
“Twenty-nine individuals aged 90-101 from remote rural villages in Italy participated in the study. At the conclusion of the study, the scientists confirmed that the group had better mental health overall than their younger family members aged 51-75, even though their physical health was worse.”
Good point. Stubborn often carries a negative connotation. I like using the word resolute though.
Tracy Duffy email@example.com
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