Growing up I used to think being stubborn was a good thing. Though I probably never wrote down a definitely had someone asked me to it would have gone something like this: “stubborn means sticking to your guns when your tempted to cave in.” Much of this character trait came from my mom’s side of the family who migrated to Michigan from West Virginia in the 50s. It was further reinforced as I attended a fundamental, legalistic Baptist church during the early part of my youth. God was the ultimate example of stubbornness…and I lived in fear of His wrath for many years.
Now as an adult I’m beginning to see stubbornness as a completely different thing. Having been on the other side of a stubborn person I see how ridiculous it can be. A more accurate definition would be: “stubborn means demanding you are right even when the facts and relationships around you say otherwise.” At the core of being stubborn is control, pride and selfishness. Healthy relationships require flexibility to weather the inevitable conflicts. Years ago a wise friend of mine told me: you have decide whats more important to you, being right or being in relationship. Sad how we often choose being right and end up losing relationships as a result.
I know this negative trait has cost me some relationships over the years and I deeply regret my stubbornness. Awareness is only half the battle, it will take years to completely rid my life of stubbornness but I think I have grown very much over the years.