Are you proud that you’re stubborn?

I run into people that talk about being stubborn like it’s a great trait.

They’ll tell you how stubborn they are and how they love to be in control.

I look at them and I almost want to shake them a little bit and say this:

Stubborn people who are always in control of their life never grow in their life.

How can you?

If you’re stubborn, you’re always looking to react to somebody else instead of actively listening to somebody else.

Stubborn people in relationships tend to never ever get anything solved because they’re constantly looking to defend their narrow points of view.

If being stubborn means that you have a narrow point of view based on all your life experiences, then you’re basically telling the universe and telling other people that you are not willing to be opened up and learn other people’s perspective.

Stubborn people don’t actively listen. They only listen to the trigger points that trigger them.

I used to sit there and actually have conversations with them.

They would listen, kind of, sort of.

And then immediately, when they heard something you slipped up on or made a mistake, and they could find a way to literally get on you, they would.

To me, when somebody is coming at me, whether they’re venting, expressing themselves, or trying to clarify things, I like to sit back and just actively listen. Whether they want to go on a tirade for 10 minutes or 20 minutes, or an hour.

I want to give them that space because when you give someone that space, they’re going to get it all out. And if they get it all out, you’re going to understand them better.

And you’ll understand your part in the dynamic, as well.

You see, when you understand your part in the dynamic, you’ll be able to take responsibility for the things that you need to take responsibility for so you can grow in that relationship.

When you grow in that relationship, you’ll actually have a relationship.

Stubborn people don’t want to grow. They might tell you they want to grow and they might tell you they do work on themselves, and they might read articles on how to be a great partner,

How to be a great mom,

How to be a great dad,

But in reality, they’re only reading things to find things to validate their narrow, stubborn view point. Sure, they may pick things up that they might actually acclimate into their life and might actually make the changes, but the majority of stubborn people that I know tend to enjoy being stubborn.

They like to be right. They always think that their view point is right, so what they do is search the Internet for things that validate them and/or they search the Internet for things that make them even more stubborn. Because once they form an opinion about how they’re going to do something, they will do that the way they want to and will not listen to other people.

I’ve been with narrow-minded people like this, and it drives me crazy.

Because no matter what you say, no matter what you do, no matter how you write an e-mail, speak on the phone to them, go face to face with them, they are never going to fully, actively listen because the conversation is about something that they are being stubborn on and they think their view point is 100% right.

I learned about this stubborn character in Ms. Bogart’s fifth grade class.

She taught us about gratitude. She also taught us about how to really speak to other people.

There was a character she created called Mr. I Am Never Wrong.

And she’d use this character in drawings and stories to show us how to negotiate and how to communicate better.

It was a valuable experience. She was actually one of the best teachers I have ever had. I remember when I wanted to get in Ms. Bogart’s class. We would get assigned teachers in August. The whole summer at camp, I thought about how badly I wanted to get in Ms. Bogart’s class. My mother actually called me on the phone at camp and told me I was in Ms. Bogart’s class. I was thrilled because I knew she was the best teacher out there.

That lesson has lasted my entire life. I try not to be Mr. I Am Never Wrong ever because I’m a human being. I am wrong. Sometimes my view point is wrong and I enjoy hearing other people’s view points because to me, being stubborn means that you’re going to miss out on some of the greatest relationships in life.

Because you’re never going to grow and everything you do will need to be under full control, and people are under full control are the most terrified, scared people out there. I know. I’ve dealt with them and they’re no fun at all.