3 Ways to Deal with Stubborn People

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3 Ways to Deal with Stubborn People
3 Ways to Deal with Stubborn People

It's no fun trying to convince a stubborn person to do what you want. Dealing with people like that can be very frustrating and exhausting, whether it's talking to a co-worker or your own mother. But if you understand that stubborn people are just afraid to hurt their egos and do something new, you can make them feel more comfortable - and you can convince them to see your side of the story. So how do you deal with a stubborn person without losing your cool in the process? Just follow the steps below.


Method 1 of 3: Part One: Massaging Your Ego

Deal With Stubborn People Step 1

Step 1. Start with a little flattery

One of the reasons stubborn people are the way they are is because they hate to be wrong. They think they know the best way to do everything and therefore can become a little sensitive when they hear that there are other ways to do things; they may view a difference of opinion as a personal attack, even if you don't intend to. So when talking to stubborn people, first try to make them feel good about themselves by fawning a little bit first. Just try to be honest and not sound like you're fawning just to get your way. Here are some ways where to start:

  • "I know you've been working a lot lately. I'm impressed by how well you are able to maintain control during such a stressful time."
  • "You always have such good ideas that I thought I'd tell you one."
  • "Glad I got to see you today. I was already missing hanging out with you."
Deal With Stubborn People Step 2

Step 2. Show that you value their opinions

Another thing you have to do to deal with stubborn people is to acknowledge their opinions and show them that they really have a great idea. Don't make the person think their idea is completely stupid, invalid or poorly thought out (even if you feel that way), or your chance of being heard will drop to approximately 0%. Make sure you repeat their argument and show that you see the positive in what the person is saying; that way, the stubborn will see that you value them as well as their ideas. This will make him much more open to listening to you. Here are some things you can say:

  • "I think Italian food is a great idea. I love the gnocchi at this Italian restaurant, and they have a great wine selection. However…"
  • "I know we didn't have any fun hanging out with Sara and Marcelo last time, and you're right about the fact that they're a little weird. But I really think we should give them another chance."
  • "Moving from the countryside to the city would have a lot of benefits, as you said. There would be more things to do, we would be closer to the airport and travel a lot more, and we would be closer to our best friends. But having said that… "
Deal With Stubborn People Step 3

Step 3. Don't say the stubborn is wrong

The last thing a stubborn person wants to hear is that he is totally wrong. Never say "You're not looking at this the right way" or "You just don't understand, do you?" And definitely don't say "How can you be so wrong?" Let her shut down completely. Make it clear that she has some great ideas and that you have considered them with care. The person may be right in another time or situation, but right now, you would like to do what you want to do. clear.

Say things like "We both have such good ideas" or "There are several ways to look at this situation" to show that you think the person is "equally" right

Deal With Stubborn People Step 4

Step 4. Show how the decision will benefit the stubborn

Difficult people are often stubborn because they believe so much in themselves and how their decisions can help them feel even better and do what they want to do. So if you want to massage your ego a little bit and make her think the decision is valid, show her how the person might end up benefiting, even though it might seem a little surprising. This will pique her interest and make her much more likely to give in. Here are some things you can say:

  • "I would love to check out the new Japanese restaurant down the street. Do you remember when I said I had a craving for ice cream tempura? I hear they have an incredible variety in this restaurant."
  • "Going out with Sara and Marcelo can be fun. Besides, Marcelo said he has one more ticket for the Iron Maiden show and is looking for someone to go with him. And I know you're dying to go.."
  • "If we stay here, and don't go to the big city, we can save on rent. We can use that extra money to go to Cancun next summer, like you wanted to do."
Deal With Stubborn People Step 5

Step 5. Make him think he came up with the idea of ​​his own

This is another trick to convince the stubborn person to do what you want. Get her to think that, in the course of your conversation, she has come up with the idea, or has introduced an important aspect of why the idea is so good. This will make the person feel proud of themselves and like they are still doing things their way. This can be a little tricky, but if you do it right, you'll be amazed at how good the stubborn person feels. Here are some things you can say:

  • "That's a great idea! I forgot how much I love umeshu, that Japanese plum liqueur. The Japanese restaurant must have that liqueur."
  • "You're right – we can go out with Sara and Marcelo this weekend. And you prefer Saturday night, don't you?"
  • "It's true - I would miss our grocery store if we went to the big city."

Method 2 of 3: Part Two: Persuading the Stubborn

Deal With Stubborn People Step 6

Step 1. Be firm

The reason stubborn people often get their way is because the people around them often give in and let them do exactly what they want. This can happen for a number of reasons: you may think the person is going to throw a fit or sulk if they don't get what they want, you may not have the energy to resist, or you may even be convinced that the person should want more than you. But remember that she's using cheap tactics to get what she wants, and you have the right to do things your way from time to time.

  • If the person starts to get emotional or visibly upset, take it slowly until they feel calmer, but don't just say "Okay, you can do it your way, just stop crying" - it gives the image that they can manipulate your emotions and cause you to give up what you want easily.
  • Being firm means keeping your side of the story and offering a rational, logical argument for why your idea matters. This doesn't mean getting aggressive, yelling or cursing. Stubborn people are already defensive, and this kind of behavior will only make them feel more threatened.
Deal With Stubborn People Step 7

Step 2. Give him information

Stubborn people are also afraid of the unknown. They may not want to do something simply because they've never done it before or because they're not used to getting out of the rut. The more you can let them know about the situation, the better they will feel about it. They'll see that the thing you're proposing isn't all that scary because they'll already have a sense of what it's going to be like. Here are some things you can say:

  • "The new Japanese restaurant has a wide variety of sushi. And it's much cheaper than the Italian restaurant. They also have a big screen so we can watch the end of the game while we eat."
  • "Sara and Marcelo have a really cute dog - you're going to love him. Marcelo also likes craft beers and has an amazing selection. They live 15 minutes from here, so we'll be here pretty quick…"
  • "Did you know that rent in the big city is, on average, 100% higher than rent here? Where would we get so much money to live there?"
Deal With Stubborn People Step 8

Step 3. Show the stubborn why this is important to you

If the stubborn person cares about you, then he will be persuaded just by hearing why the things you want mean so much to you. This will help her see the situation on a human level, and she'll see that it's about much more than being right or wrong, it's about giving you what you really want and need. If you are in a relationship with this person, then helping them see why it would make you happy is a big move. Here are some things you can say:

  • "I've been craving sushi for three weeks. Can we go please? I can go with John, but it won't be as fun as going with you."
  • "I would really like to spend more time with Sara and Marcelo. You know I've been alone in this new neighborhood, and I would love to have some more friends."
  • "I would really love to live here for another year. It's so easy to get to work from here, and I would hate to have to get up an hour earlier to go to work."
Deal With Stubborn People Step 9

Step 4. Remind the stubborn one that it's his turn

If you're used to dealing with this particular stubborn person, then you've probably given in a few times. It's time to put your foot down and remember all the things you've given up for her, no matter how big or small. You can do this without making the person feel horrible, but you can show the scenario from an overall perspective so they can see that it's time for you to get what you want. Here are some things you can say:

  • "We went to the restaurant you wanted the last five times we went out. Can I choose, for once?"
  • "We've been hanging out with your friends instead of mine for the past three weekends. Can we give my friends a chance this time?"
  • "It was your idea to go to the big city, remember? Well, now it's my idea to stay here."
Deal With Stubborn People Step 10

Step 5. Negotiate or Commit

You may not be able to get what you want completely, but you can find a happy medium with the stubborn. Commitment or negotiation with the person can help you persuade them to do what you want without giving in completely. If the person is really stubborn, then small steps might be the best way to go, and you won't be able to convince the person to follow your plan overnight. Here are some things you can say:

  • "Okay, we can go to the Italian restaurant tonight. But that means we're going to the Japanese restaurant tomorrow night, right?"
  • "How about going out for a drink with Sara and Mike instead of going to their house for dinner? We'll still be hanging out with them for a bit, but it won't take up our entire night."
  • "I would be open to moving to a city that isn't too big. It would be more expensive than here, but not as expensive as a big city, and it's pretty busy there too."
Deal With Stubborn People Step 11

Step 6. Stay calm

If you really want to deal with a stubborn person and even have the chance to get your way, then don't get carried away by their emotions. If you start to get visibly upset or even angry, then the person will think you've won, because you can't keep yourself under control. Take a deep breath, slow down or even leave the room for a few minutes if you notice the mood getting tense. The stubborn person will be more likely to listen to you if you appear calm and collected, not angry or mad.

It's easy to lose your temper when you're dealing with someone who isn't willing to do what you want or to change. But remember that the closer to having an explosion, the less likely the person is to see your side of the story

Deal With Stubborn People Step 12

Step 7. Don't say the person is being stubborn

The last thing a difficult person wants to hear is that he is stubborn. People like that are defensive and obviously stubborn, and if you say that word yourself around them, they'll shut up and be even less likely to change. Don't say "Why do you have to be so stubborn?" or the person will stop listening to you. Resist the urge to say that word, even if it's on the tip of your tongue.

Deal With Stubborn People Step 13

Step 8. Find common ground

Finding common ground with the person can help you convince them to see things from your perspective. Difficult people can feel a little cornered, and if you convince the stubborn one that you're in the same boat, he's much more likely to listen if your opinions are too different. Here are some things you can say:

  • “I fully agree that we have been facing productivity issues in the company. We definitely need to find a solution here. However, I think it has more to do with the lack of employee satisfaction than with the new projects that were assigned to them. "
  • "I agree that the people we've been hanging out with have been a little weird or boring. But if we don't give new friends a chance, we're never going to meet people we really like, are we?"

Method 3 of 3: Part Three: Long-Term Effects

Deal With Stubborn People Step 14

Step 1. Induce the stubborn to change little by little

If you have to deal with a stubborn person for the long term, then you need to know that they don't like to dive headlong into the unknown. She likes to put her feet in the water and walk slowly forward. So if you want to convince someone close to you to try something different, get them to get used to the idea little by little, until they're totally comfortable with the situation.

  • For example, if you have a friend who is a bit possessive and doesn't like the new friends you've made on your English course, introduce them to your friends one by one for a short period of time instead of playing the person in your new group of friends; this will make the stubborn more likely to be excited by the new social situation.
  • If you're trying to convince your roommate to be cleaner, then ask him to do the dishes every day. After that, you can talk about taking out the trash more often, vacuuming the carpet, and so on.
Deal With Stubborn People Step 15

Step 2. Choose your battles

This is the key when dealing with difficult people. You can get stubborn people to give in on occasion and, with the right approach, even convince them to make some pretty significant changes. However, if the person is really stubborn, then he is unlikely to give in to your demands very often. If you've been having trouble convincing a stubborn person to do what you want, then save your efforts for the things you really enjoy.

Maybe you don't really care about movie choice in cinema. However, you may care about the destination of your vacation trip. Save your arguments for this

Deal With Stubborn People Step 16

Step 3. Break the pattern of always giving in

A stubborn person can continue to do things his way because you always end up giving in. If you never say no, then why would the person change with you? So the next time you're negotiating something, even if it's as simple as a movie to see, say you're going alone or you're going home if it doesn't go your way. This will surprise the stubborn person so much that he will give in or start thinking of you as a person who cannot be easily manipulated.

If you don't give in easily, the stubborn person will respect you more and be more likely to value your opinion

Deal With Stubborn People Step 17

Step 4. Don't beg or look desperate

This is not a good way to get the person to understand your point of view, no matter how much you want things to go your way. If you feel like you've exhausted all of your resources and options, simply walk away. There's no reason to put yourself down by begging or whining, and not only won't it work with a really stubborn person, but it'll be a little humiliating for you.

If you want to convince a stubborn person to do something, take a rational approach. The emotional approach will only make the person even less likely to agree with you

Deal With Stubborn People Step 18

Step 5. Be patient

It takes time to really convince a stubborn person, especially if you're trying to break a persistent pattern of behavior. This won't happen overnight, and you have to remember to start with small things (what to watch on TV) before moving on to bigger issues (where to go). Believe that you can change the person little by little, but that you won't be able to make them completely new.

Deal With Stubborn People Step 19

Step 6. Keep your confidence

Confidence is key when you are dealing with difficult people. If you waver or show some doubt in your own ideas, then the person will respect you less and be even less likely to listen to you. You have to act as if your idea or point of view is the best idea that ever existed (without being arrogant, of course) so that the person is more likely to think you know what you're talking about. Don't let the stubborn intimidate you into backing down or saying that maybe your own idea isn't so good.

  • Keep your head up, maintain eye contact, and don't let the other person hunch or look at the floor while you're talking. Maintaining a confident posture helps a lot in making your ideas sound confident.
  • If you're nervous about what you have to propose, practice ahead of time. This will make you appear more confident about your ideas when the time comes.
Deal With Stubborn People Step 20

Step 7. Know when to give up

Unfortunately, you can try everything when dealing with the stubborn person and may not get any results at all. If the stubborn person doesn't move an inch, doesn't listen to a word you've said, or isn't willing to accept another perspective even though you've provided more information, cajoled, been firm, and shown how much the decision would mean to you, then you can be the time to give up. If you can't do something good, then you can only be doing something bad, and there is no alternative but to let go of the situation, if you are getting nowhere.

  • If you keep trying to get a stubborn person to see your point of view to no avail, then you may end up being the stubborn one.
  • Giving up on a stubborn person doesn't mean you're weak. It just means that you are rational and know when there is nothing more that can be done.


  • Don't try to stand up to the person if they are stubborn - this will only make the situation worse.
  • Know yourself first!
  • Forgive and forget!

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