Welcome back to Dessert for Thoughts, enjoy the meal.
I’ve been called stubborn many times. As you might expect, I didn’t think I was.
Have you encountered some people who you think are very stubborn and wondered what’s on their minds? I’ll draw you a map. Here’s what stubborn people think:
“I’m not stubborn. I just have a very firm stance, a viewpoint so strong that nobody can criticise as wrong.”
“If they have a truer opinion that is actually able to rebut mine, I would’ve understood and changed my mind.”
I’m not trying to be Ms. Know It All and look like I’m speaking for the stubborns, because: I’m actually one. Nonetheless how else would I know these thoughts; interview them? (Tee-hee! Sorry, didn’t mean to sound sarcastic)
Back to topic. If you are reading this you probably have a stubborn boyfriend/girlfriend, best friend, or maybe working partner – or you yourself have been called stubborn by several people so that you’re interested in this page. So before I start explaining the title of this blog (it’s not a clickbait, trust me), let me first elaborate to you the literal definition of the word “stubborn” by Google dictionary.
stub·bornˈstəbərn/adjectiveadjective: stubbornhaving or showing dogged determination not to change one’s attitude or position on something, especially in spite of good arguments or reasons to do so.
See, the thing with the stubborns is not that they do not want to change their attitudes or positions on things, instead they do not find those arguments or reasons good enough for them to.
I’ve been called stubborn many times in my life, but not too many that I actually start contemplating on it. As what you might expect from a stubborn person, I didn’t think I was. As a matter of fact, I honestly thought I would willingly change my mind or my attitude if the person taking part in the conversation provides me an argument I felt more legitimate than mine.
A long time ago, I discussed this matter with a significant someone that means a lot to me. I tried explaining myself that despite people thinking so, I didn’t mean to be stubborn, I simply have a strong opinion that most people have a difficult time changing. He told me, it takes people who are good communicators and able to get into my mind and shape the thought in it in order to change my stance, because I wasn’t the type of person who’s willing to get inside the other person’s mind.
I remember I agreed to him and I thought it was fine. I thought I was fine.
Until just lately when I had a big fight with him; I discovered that this sentence he once said to me years ago “you’re not the type of person who’s willing to get inside the other person’s mind” actually meant “you simply do not want to listen“. He told me I always judged the other person in the conversation as wrong, and it seemed to him that I thought of myself as the smartest person in the room.
Of all friends, colleagues, people who have called me stubborn and didn’t get to me, his words hit me. Do I not want to listen?
It actually struck me that I began introspecting.
The point that I aspire to highlight from my story is that this stubborn person, yours truly, didn’t find it necessary to “not be stubborn” when people tell her to. This girl simply thought that she was a firm woman, holding on to her own formed beliefs, not easily driven by her surrounding’s thoughts. Yet when someone simply tells her that she doesn’t listen, voilà, the rockhead melts.
So the next time you meet a stubborn person, don’t tell them they are. They won’t listen. Tell them they simply do not listen and aim to understand.
The biggest communication is we do not listen to understand. We listen to reply.
-Stephen R. Covey
A little message to all stubborns out there (hi I’m your friend). You might not think that you are, because you have strong reasons underlying all your standings; again, that’s according to you, darling. Not everyone has the capabilities to explain as thorough as you do about what they think, so you just have to give them the time, to simply listen to understand. And if you listen close enough, and understand, they might actually have a more sensible reasoning than yours that you might actually agree to.
Hope this talk inspires you to a better relationship, or maybe, to a better you.
See you in the next Dessert for Thoughts.
Spread the words.