My ex was a pathologically stubborn person, and I mean that in a clinical way. He was so adamant about things being his way, it actively hurt him and his ability to connect to people. Heck, it was even a driving force to our breakup!
If you've never met a person who was stubborn to the point of it being dangerous, it can be hard to think that being stubborn and refusing to yield is a pathology. Trust me though, it can be, and in many cases, it is a life-ruiner.
Almost everyone has a friend, family member, or ex who fits the bill of a person whose refusal to concede or compromise harms them. Ever wonder if you're dealing with a pathologically stubborn person? Certain telling signs say you are...
They refuse to admit they're wrong, even when presented with the facts.
The easiest thing to look for to find out whether or not you're dealing with a pathologically stubborn person is to see how they react when they are proven wrong. A person who is stubborn but realistic will back down when they are shown evidence that they are wrong.
On the other hand, a pathologically stubborn individual will balk and refuse to accept the evidence. Most often, they'll cite the source of evidence as poor quality or unbelievable. Sometimes, they will just shut the conversation down.
They get angry at the slightest sign of disagreement.
For people who are pathologically stubborn, disagreement is seen as an attack on their person. So, they tend to act attacked whenever someone disagrees with them.
A person who is pathologically stubborn will almost always take offense to any form of disagreement—even if it's something as simple as asking to compromise on a pizza order. This is just simply one of the many things that will most likely happen when you stand up to a narcissist or pathologically stubborn person.
If you notice that they cannot stay calm when being told they are incorrect, then you are probably dealing with someone who has this issue. If they flare up and get spiteful, it's likely that the stubborn behavior is a symptom of a personality disorder that's left untreated.
People tend to avoid them, and warn you about them.
One of the more telling signs you're dealing with a pathologically stubborn person is the way others behave around them. By default, pathologically stubborn individuals are very difficult and unpleasant people to deal with.
You very likely aren't the only person who noticed this character flaw in them—and trust me, most people who notice this trait tend to avoid them. They may even warn you about the person's proclivities if it's a seriously bad case.
The person in question has extremist beliefs.
Don't ask why, but people who have extreme beliefs tend to be people who also carry an unhealthy level of stubbornness with them. Because of their "black and white" way of thinking, most extremists refuse to compromise under any circumstances.
Oddly enough, extremism also tends to be a sign of other serious issues in a person's state of wellbeing. Why their inability to cooperate or compromise is so deeply tied with extreme beliefs, though, remains to be seen.
You can't appeal to them using logic.
Logic is the number one tool when dealing with a rational person. A person who's irrationally stuck in their beliefs will not listen to reasoning, nor will they listen to anything that doesn't confirm their bias.
Have you tried to reason with the person, only to have them say that they disagree with you even after you present them with a fair, logical argument? If so, you're dealing with a pathologically stubborn person who might actually be brainwashed.
You often feel crazy when talking to this person, simply because they keep rejecting any viewpoint that doesn't match theirs.
When you're dealing with a pathologically stubborn person, it's very easy to feel frustrated. It's also incredibly easy to feel like you're going insane trying to explain things to them.
Pathologically stubborn people have a way of steamrolling over others' opinions until it would have the most logical, sane person questioning themselves. Some will even go so far as to repeat the same statement over and over again until you consider it fact.
All thing considered, you're dealing with a pathological person if you find yourself asking, "Am I going insane? How does this guy just not understand this?"
Anytime they are proven wrong, they come up with an excuse as to why they're still right in some capacity.
My ex, when forced to admit they were wrong, would say, "Well, 50 years ago, my information was correct."
Most stubborn people will say similar things, regardless of whether or not it is demeaning or unnecessary information that just causes people to feel bad for being right. Why? Because they really, truly, unequivocally detest being wrong.
You're pretty sure you're being gaslit.
Does it feel like the person is actively trying to make you feel like you remember something that didn't happen, or as if he's trying to make you feel crazy? If so, you might be a victim of somebody trying to manufacture pathology into your behaviors to make you feel crazy.
Gaslighting is a technique abusers and pathologically stubborn people use to make their victims feel like they are losing their minds. It's often accompanied by people who keep insisting that they are right, or get people to question their memories. Sound familiar?
No matter what happens, you will never get an apology from them.
Speaking from personal experience, people who have this pathology refuse to admit wrongdoing or incorrect information. No matter what evidence you offer up, they will not admit they are wrong.
This is because stubborn people typically have a need to be right 100 percent of the time. If they are forced to admit they're wrong, they see themselves as accepting failure—and that's something they can never do.
You're pretty sure they have a significant personality disorder.
Believe it or not, a lot of personality disorders will often have pathological stubbornness as a comorbidity—or a symptom of the disorder itself. Narcissistic personality disorder, for example, almost always means you're dealing with a pathologically stubborn person.
Unfortunately, there's nothing you can do to fix a person who has this trait, nor can you fix a personality disorder. So, if you do run into someone with this issue out there, it's best to do what you can to avoid them at all cost.