Home Relationship What Does it Mean to Be Stubborn in a Relationship?

What Does it Mean to Be Stubborn in a Relationship?

What Does it Mean to Be Stubborn in a Relationship

Being stubborn is a natural human trait that we all possess to some degree. However, when stubbornness is taken to an unhealthy extreme in romantic relationships, it can become problematic and toxic.

In this post, we will look at what exactly stubbornness means in the context of relationships, why some people exhibit stubborn behaviors, and actionable strategies partners can use to handle stubbornness constructively.

Defining Stubbornness in Relationships

To start, we must clearly define what stubbornness entails so readers understand its manifestations and consequences. In relationships, being stubborn generally refers to an excessive unwillingness to consider other viewpoints, admit faults, compromise on issues, or change one’s beliefs, opinions or behaviors – even in the face of clear evidence or rationale arguments to the contrary.

Stubborn people tend to see things only from their own perspective and are not open to influence from their partner. They believe their way is always right and refuse to bend on matters, no matter how reasonable the other side may be. This can breed inflexibility, defensiveness, and an inability to meet partners halfway – which are qualities that undermine healthy relationship dynamics based on cooperation, understanding and mutual respect.

Stubborn individuals often respond poorly to confrontation or criticism as well. They may dig their heels in further rather than reflect constructively on issues raised. Theirpartner’s feelings tend to get dismissed or discounted through rigid stubborn reactions. Overall, stubbornness prevents fair, balancedproblem solving between partners and threatens the level of compromise needed to sustain intimacy over time.

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Why People Can Become Stubborn

Understanding the psychology behind stubborn behaviors is integral to addressing them constructively rather than in anger or frustration. Some common reasons why people may develop stubborn tendencies include:

Control and Power Issues

For stubborn people, giving in or changing their views feels like relinquishing control and power to others. Admitting errors or rethinking decisions threatens their sense of autonomy. This rootsstubbornnessin deeper issues relating to control anxiety, trust issues and poor self-esteem regulation.

Perfectionism and Rigidity

Stubborn individuals often have an inflexible, black-and-white thinking style and cannot tolerate imperfection, nuance or uncertainty. Any challenge to their ideasor solutions feels like a threat rather than an opportunity for personal or relational growth. This rigid perfectionism prevents open-minded reconsideration.

Trauma and Insecurity

Early life traumas like abuse, neglect or unstable upbringings can foster stubborn defenses as a means to an end. Admitting faults may feel scary due to underlying fears of being hurt, abandoned, or unworthy of love if seen as anything less than perfect. Stubbornness becomes an insecurity buffer.

Difficult Temperament

Some people simply have strong-willed, determined personalities. While this trait can be positive in moderation, it morphs into an obstinate stubbornness when not balanced with compromising flexibility and empathy for others’ perspectives as well.

Understanding these common psychological motives behind a partner’s stubbornness is key to not takingitpersonally and instead responding with empathy, patience and care rather than conflict. It provides avenues for compassionate discussion and resolution.

Managing Stubbornness Effectively in Relationships

Given the above definitions and reasons for stubbornness, how can someone positively influence their stubborn partner when issues arise to get past stalemates and strengthen bonds of trust, care and cooperation? Here are some constructive communication strategies:

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Address the Specific Issue, Not the Person

Bringing up a stubborn partner’s character flaws or stubborn nature itself will usually just make them more defensive. Instead, objectively focus discussions only on the concrete dispute at hand to reduce tensionsandallowproblem-solving.

Listen With Understanding Before Speaking

Validate your partner’s feelings and perspective by paraphrasing it back to confirm understanding first, without immediately rebutting. This builds empathy, trust and openness to resolution. People respond better when listened to fully before facing counter-arguments.

Find Compromise, Not Total Victory

Rather than rigidly demanding your view prevails, actively look together for agreeablemiddle ground or productive alternatives meeting both peoples’ needs halfway. Truecompromise strengthens relationships far more than someone simply conceding defeat.

Reframe Opposing Views as a Partnership

Assure your partner you still view them as an ally and teammate rather than an adversary to overcome. Discuss issues as a united frontrather thanasopposing sides in conflict. This shifts stubbornness born of defensiveness into cooperation.

Explore Underlying Motivations Compassionately

Afterward,check in onempathy by asking how they thinktheir stubborn reaction tied into deeper fears, needsfor control or insecurities to have. Validate these feelingswhile reassuring of your commitment and care.This disarms stubborn defensesover time.

Suggest Collaborating to Find Solutions

Propose taking a break if growing heated,then jointly researching viable optionswhen calm to find mutually agreeable answers together as a team. This shiftsstubbornmindsets from adversariness to compromise through cooperation instead of confrontation.

Express Appreciation for Reconsidering

Whenreconsidering occurs after open discussion,thank partners for their flexibility and growth. Positive reinforcement strengthens vulnerable openness toinfluencewhile reducing the need to stubbornly ‘save face.’ Partners feel safe admitting errors.

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Closing Thoughts

While some stubbornness is inevitable given human nature, unchecked rigidity in relationships becomes problematic fast. With empathy, care and constructive communication focused on problem-solving as a united team rather than opponents, partners can work through even significant issues together harmoniously.

Compromise strengthens intimacyfar more than one individual’s sole victory. Understanding and addressing stubbornness at its psychological roots also allows for healthy growth of compromise skills over time. Overall, balancing flexibility with determination builds the most durable of relationships.



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