stubborn makes stable

Have you ever wondered what stubbornness is actually about? In my experience in coaching conflict issues there is mostly a felt danger behind, which one attempts to avert. This danger is often quiet subtle: It is the danger, that a definition of how life is, how oneself is, or what matters in life, could no longer be applicable. We all have these definitions and they give us a sense of stability – even if the content of the definition itself is not positive. Who e.g. defined for him/herself (from prior experience, pre-consciously),  that you cannot trust others, often rather clings firmly to it than to open up for a new experience. As conflict partners we experience this as stubbornness. And this experience often leads to further escalation of the conflict. So, how about the following considerations?:

  • What could just be in danger for my stubborn conflict partner?
  • Could I respect that something for him / her is in danger and s/he uses stubbornness to stabilize – even if I cannot identify or understand the danger?
  • What are the implications of this in my response to his / her stubbornness?