Misconception and Stubbornness: How to Change a Thought of a Person from Negative to Positive?
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Everyone has at least one experience of dealing with a stubborn person in their life. Such experiences are usually characterized by feelings of frustration, irritation, or even anger. Dealing with stubborn people can consume quite a lot of effort, time, and requires patience and a wise approach. Applying a well-thought-through tactic, one has a high chance of being able to convince a stubborn opponent.
Stubborn people can be characterized by many different features; however, one of the major traits associated with their behavior is their unwillingness (or inability) to be convinced by evidence or arguments (Susskind, 2005). Due to this feature, communication with a stubborn individual can be rather exhausting or annoying to someone who is not patient enough. Usually, stubbornness is a character trait that can be present in everyone, but some people are more stubborn than others. In the settings of business negotiations, when the financial and strategic interests of companies are at stake, one does not always have a chance to walk away from a conversation with a stubborn counterpart. Instead, the opponents are expected to reach a compromise beneficial for both parties. A negotiator dealing with a stubborn opponent has only two options apart from abandoning the conversation – accepting the rules established by the other party or facilitating a productive negotiation resulting in the desired solutions.
Dealing with a stubborn person, it is important to understand the nature of their stubbornness that may vary depending on the reasons for the behavior. In particular, according to Wilson (2012), there exist many causes of stubbornness some of which occur due to one’s physical and emotional exhaustion, a mental illness, or brainwashing; however, the most likely causes are pride, ignorance, unwillingness to accept authorities, and fear of carrying out what is requested. Also, psychologically, stubborn behaviors may be based on misconceptions picked up by individuals in their childhood most of which are based on the fear of change inflicted from the outside (“Stubbornness,” 2017). Finally, intended stubbornness can be caused by one’s realization that being difficult will provide them with the desired result or his or her strong identification with a particular set of beliefs and perspectives (Parvez, n.d.).
For example, a negotiator could fail to see the rational side of arguments and evidence going against his or her opinion due to the fear of losing profit or accepting a business strategy that has not been tested before and is unfamiliar. Besides, a negotiator may use stubbornness as a tactic to achieve the desired goal, especially when their opponent is not as confident.
Even though it may seem that a stubborn person is never going to listen, there are ways to establish productive communication. First of all, it is critical to avoid engaging in an argument with a difficult opponent; also, eye-contact is important and can facilitate a better connection (DuBois, 2014). Establishing effective behavior and formulating arguments in a very straightforward and clear manner is one of the primary tactics of conversing with a stubborn individual (“Dealing with a stubborn counterpart,” 2011). Additionally, handling a difficult negotiator one is recommended to bring colleagues from both sides to the process, to encourage sharing individual interpretations of the discussed matter while keeping the focus on interests but not individual opinions, and to communicate the limits of both parties beyond which they will not go.
Dealing with a stubborn counterpart. (2011). Web.
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DuBois, S. (2014). How to handle high-pressure negotiations. Web.
Parvez, H. (n.d.). What makes a person stubborn. Web.
Stubbornness. (2017). Web.
Susskind, L. (2005). Striking a deal with a difficult negotiator. Web.
Wilson, L. (2012). Stubbornness wastes lives. Web.