Stubborn, stubborn, closed-minded…these are adjectives and a few others that describe very well how intransigent people are. They are difficult to live with, especially because they are so attached to their point of view and are so closed to listening to and understanding the opinions of others that it is extremely difficult to interact with them.
It is not a mental disorder or a psychological problem. They are simply people with strong personalities, unable to question their opinions to the point that, although not a clinical condition, they can cause problems with coexistence.
Let’s see how intransigent people arewhat characteristics define them and how to deal with them.
What are intransigent people?
The word “intransigence” means respecting the limits set. Its adjective, being uncompromising, is used to describe a character or personality that neither compromises nor forgives. When we speak of an uncompromising person, we mean someone who is unwilling to give in or change position to reach an agreement or end a debate.
Intransigent people do not accept that another individual can be right and therefore do not recognize that the arguments of the other can be valid. You could say that they are in constant opposition, that they like conflict and that they are very stubborn.
First, something needs to be clarified. If the most radical intransigence is not a desirable personality trait, we all have the right to show it at some point, especially when there is something we do not like at all or is very contrary to our belief system. We have to do it in an assertive way, which means respecting the opinions of others but being honest about what we don’t like. or that we feel is not aligned with our values. But it’s also important not to make it a constant in our own behavior.
Characteristics of Intransigent People
These are the main characteristics of uncompromising people.
1. Cognitive Inflexibility
Cognitive rigidity can be defined as inability to change your mind. Being cognitively inflexible is a barrier to learning because throughout our lives we must be open to new ideas in order to expand our knowledge and be willing to pay attention to opinions or facts that don’t fit. what we have in mind. .
2. Psychological reactance
Another characteristic of intransigent people is psychological reactance. This idea proposed by the American psychologist Jack Brehm defines situations in which standards, statements or suggestions other than one’s own are automatically rejected when these ideas are interpreted as threats to one’s own freedom. In other words, it is the tendency to take the opposite view of anyone who contradicts our values.
3. Constant Alert
The hardliners are on alert. They are very sensitive individuals to the comments and behavior of others, interpret any action as a potential threat to their dignity. Therefore, they are constantly ready to counterattack any comment, however innocent and non-malicious, that they perceived as personal criticism.
4. Cognitive conservatism
Cognitive conservatism refers to the situation in which a mind refuses to change its mind or think differently. This conservatism can become such in intransigent people that, even in a situation where it takes a certain flexibility and open-mindedness to move forward, they are unable to change their minds.
5. Pathological Need for Control and Prediction
Intransigent people show unreasonable persistence with certain thoughts, something associated with an obsessive need for control and security. These people cling to their ideas, prejudices and stereotypes because they need the world to be predictable. Anything that pops out of their grid of how the world works, they perceive as a threat and react negatively to it.
6. Confirmation bias
These people are victims of confirmation bias, that is to say they seek or interpret only information that confirms their opinions, instead of valuing all data. Information that refute your opinions will be considered false or minor.
How to deal with an intransigent person
It is very likely that there is one or more intransigent people in your social environment. If so, then you are in for a treat. do not run away from the situation and do not respond with criticism. Instead of acknowledging and responding to their evil intentions, we should focus on ourselves, working on our self-esteem and conscience. Thus, we can reaffirm our behavior and our opinions in the face of the stubbornness of the other and be calm when they are also cognitively inflexible.
When dealing with such people, it is strongly recommended that you apply the following strategies:
1. Seriously reconsider the relationship
If this intransigent person is doing you more harm than good, it’s a good idea to seriously reconsider your relationship and distance yourself if necessary.
2. Respect above all
It is essential to show personal respect at all times. Regardless of the other person’s response, we must continue to be respectful to them, otherwise we are as if we are right.
3. Assume that we probably won’t accomplish anything
When talking or arguing with an intransigent person, it’s safe to assume that most of the time you won’t get anything done. Don’t be obsessed with convincing them because, after all, they are always obsessed with their own ideas and that is very difficult to change.
4. Let him talk and listen
Instead of arguing with them, let them talk and listen to all their arguments about what you’re talking about. Generally, intransigent people make very weak arguments based only on their own beliefs, not on facts. If we listen to them well, it will be easy to keep them in mind when dealing with information that contradicts them.
5. Expose the effects of your behavior
It helps to expose uncompromising people in a simple and clear way. the effects your behavior may have. Anyone who refuses to debate or reach an agreement will sooner or later suffer the consequences.
- Aguilar, P. et. In the. (2013) Psychological distance increases uncompromising consequentialism. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology; 49 (3): 449-452.
- Fracas, B. (2020). Rigid personality.
- Haas, IJ (2016) The impact of uncertainty, threat and political identity on support for political compromise. Fundamental and Applied Social Psychology; 38 (3): 137-152.
- Lacchio, C. (2014). Intransigence: how to get away from it.