What does it mean when somebody says their stubborn? I’ve noticed lately that several people from professional medical personnel to a commercial on television have been using the term stubborn to describe what they are like. I’m sure there are times in my life that I would describe myself as stubborn. But I needed to look up the word to see what it means?
having or showing dogged determination not to change one’s attitude or position on something, especially in spite of good arguments or reasons to do so: “she accused him of being a stubborn old man”
synonyms: obstinate · headstrong · willful · strong-willed · pigheaded · obdurate · difficult · contrary · perverse · recalcitrant · inflexible · iron-willed · uncompromising · unbending · stiff-necked · [more] difficult to move, remove, or cure:
synonyms: indelible · permanent · persistent · tenacious · resistant
If you look at the definition it is almost like it is a negative thing. But if you look at the synonym of being persistent or tenacious it sounds like a good thing. So, when listening to different people tell me that they are stubborn I have to also take into consideration where they are and in what context they are using the word stubborn.
Recently while visiting a medical office I spoke to one of the nurses who described herself as stubborn. She referred to this while talking about using computers or Facebook. She proudly exclaimed that she did not use these devices or social media as she was stubborn and didn’t need them. I smiled at her as she told me this and then thought to myself, how she was going to keep up with the quickly changing world of medicine. How was she going to be able to handle a patient who’s describes their condition in a social media language? How is her personal life going to handle the quickly changing environment?
The fact that she proclaimed to be stubborn, in this case, refers to that part of the definition that speaks of a dogged determination not to change one’s attitude on something especially in spite of good reasons.
Originally, I would’ve only thought that old people (like me) use the word stubborn. Mainly because as you get older it’s harder for one to accept change and therefore one can begin to describe oneself as stubborn. And you do it with pride, as if being stubborn was a credo of life. Then I realized that young adults start considering their self as stubborn. They would commonly refer to their upbringing and how tough their parents were on them, and that they were not going to change those practices. They would show a stubborn resistance to any thought of a different where raising a child.
Then I would hear school-age children starting to refer to themselves as stubborn. They did it with pride as if to say, I’m so strong my beliefs that you cannot change me. I would say that even when I was a school-age child that I carried that credo of not wanting the old world to change me. Although I don’t think I called it being stubborn I referred to it as being independent.
I think that the word stubborn has changed in its meaning to the people of this time. It has a positive spin to it and that a person will continue the quest because they believe in it and it would be hard to take them away from that quest. Stubborn sounds like a piece of strength and resolve that would help anyone get through life’s problems.
But then there is the stubborn that shows that there will be no progression or compromise involved in solving life’s problems. Something like the term,” we’ve always done it that way and will continue to do it that way”.
My thought is it is more of a negative position to be stubborn than a positive one. If you want to use the word stubborn realize that tells someone that you are not open to any communication, you might want to have with me nor will you change your mind.
I think that maybe being stubborn was a good thing for those human beings in the early centuries leading up to the 20th century. It was their stubborn disposition that they would not fail and that they would bring their values with them that helped them survive. They were stubborn, and it was going to be hard to change their mind. My thought is that for the country and a person to grow it would be better if one was not stubborn.
So, I leave you with this thought. Would you consider yourself being stubborn or not?

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