by Dr. Lawrence Wilson

© July 2012, L. D. Wilson Consultants, Inc.


All information in this article is for educational purposes only.  It is not for the diagnosis, treatment, prescription or cure of any disease or health condition.


            One of the worst “sins” that is not talked about often is that of sloth or a stubborn quality of the personality.  The essence of this quality is that when asked to do something, you procrastinate or worse, you do the opposite.  This is often a problem for parents and children, and this article will discuss some simple remedies that any parent, teacher, doctor, or anyone can apply when someone you love is acting stubborn.


Why are people stubborn?  Before suggesting solutions, it is helpful to realize that what appears as stubbornness can be different things in different cases.  It could be: 1) a secret or something one is embarrassed about, 2) fear of carrying out the request, 3) ignorance of why go along with the request, 4) a desire to be free of authorities and “experiment”, 5) brain damage so the person does not understand the request properly, 5) fatigue, brain fog or some other inability to follow through properly, 6) a little mind game to upset you, 7) a desire for attention, also called acting out, 8) a lack of trust and rapport for some reason, or possibly 9) a form of brainwashing or hypnotic trance state that requires breaking the pattern so the person will function normally and rationally.  In other words, the person is not picking up on your request properly.  There are other possibilities as well, but these are the main ones in most cases.

These reasons can be examined as a kind of checklist to think about when you find a person acting stubbornly.

The reason will influence which techniques and methods below to use.




            I will not mention the solution of just asking nicely and repeatedly for what you want.  If this method worked, you would not call the person stubborn.  Here are other methods.  You may need to combine them, at times, for best results:


1. Make life so unpleasant for the person that he or she goes along with your requests or wishes as the lesser of two difficult choices.  This is a common solution.  It is not the easiest to do.  In fact, it is often somewhat painful for parents, teachers and others.  However, it is one that works on some people, depending on their conditioning. 

This solution may be called pain avoidance.  You get your way because you make the other way very painful.  For example, parents quickly often figure out what puts their child in pain, and they hold it over their heads.  You will lose your toys, or you will not be able to play with your friends. 

Teachers use this method all the time by threatening to fail the student, or kick the student out of school, or embarrass the student in front of his or her friends.  Employers use it by threatening to fire the employee who does not go along.  The extreme of this is to threaten physical harm, rape, or even death if the person does not go along with your wishes. 

This method works, but is a form of conditioning or brainwashing, really.  It is therefore not the best method.


2. Explain things more or better.  This is an ideal solution, if it works.  Many people do not go along simply because they want to understand what is asked of them and why.  They do not want to blindly follow orders like a hireling.  They are intelligent and resent being treated like a mere slave.

            The so-called “indigo children” are of this type in many cases.  They do not want to go along with a diet, vitamin supplements, schooling or anything else just because “Mom said so”.  So they may appear very stubborn, at times.  Explaining the reasons for your requests becomes very important with this group of children, and with more and more adults today.

            This solution works well if the person you wish to follow your requests can think clearly, is not too brainwashed, and is not “playing mind games” with you.  It may not work if the person is seriously mentally deficient, too conditioned or hypnotized or brainwashed, too emotional, or involved with some kind of mind play or mind games with you, whether or not the person or you knows this.

            This solution is not the easiest because it takes time, some patience and an ability to explain things clearly and simply, often to someone young who does not understand the dangers of running into the street, going out at night alone, or something else.  So it can be challenging, to say the least.  It is the best, however, when one can do it.

            To carry out this solution, one must often ask the person why he or she does not want to go along.  This can open a discussion that is very important.  Sometimes some real probing is needed to get to the real reason for the denial of the request and the person might be embarrassed, for example, to talk about the real reason so time and listening and compassion may be needed.

A second technique in connection with this method is to ask the person, “What would it take for you to go along with my request to …..?”  This may yield valuable information that could help you to explain things better, come to a compromise, change your request, understand the person’s feelings more, and therefore assist your effort.  Beware, however, that this can open the door to mind games.  For example, a child might say “I will clean up my room when you give me ice cream for dessert every night.”  A woman might say “I will go out with you if you take me to a fancy restaurant and buy me lobster”.  However, at least it gives the person making the request some information to work with, perhaps.


            3. Accept and love the person, though in a practical manner. This is a form or explaining things better or more.  It means that you accept and love the person fully.  If the person will not clean up his room, for example, and it is hazardous, then Mom or Dad or older brother will clean it up.  Of course, this means that the cleaning person will not have time to do other things that the child wants to do, and this is explained absolutely fully.

In other words, you do not fight with the person.  You, the more mature one, does what needs to be done that the other person should do, and explains all the consequences.  This can work well, but only if the mature person is not resentful at all and simply does what is needed. 

This solution has to do with calling the other person on their game.  The stubborn person realizes that you will not play their game and they are just wasting their own and others’ time, and the game is over.

This solution is never easy.  If, for example, an alcoholic or drug addict will simply not give up their alcohol or drugs, just going along is very difficult, but it can be done.  You might have to move the person out of the house by force, for example, by calling the police because you don’t want your other children to be around an alcoholic father.  You might have to send your wife, your husband or friend to jail because the person is a danger to himself and others.  So it can be a difficult solution, but it is one of the best.  It can take a lot of love and patience, to be sure!

It is somehow about just going around the problem person until he or she realizes that he or she will not win, and the game is not going any further.  It must be done without anger, or the game is still going on, since the game is often about upsetting other people in some way with your stubbornness.


Stubbornness can be a game.  This solution brings up a good point about stubbornness.  It can be a little game that children and immature adults play with others to get attention, to express their anger and rebellion, and perhaps for other reasons. 

The key to this solution is to realize this and not to play along with their game.  Games require two or more to play.  Once the other player(s) of the game recognize the game and decide not play, the game becomes much less fun for the stubborn one and often they give it up. 

This also has to do with the fact that stubbornness often covers up other personality problems such as fears, phobias, immaturity and many others.  So rather than focus on the stubborn quality, this solution offers the possibility of going deeper into the real problem areas.  It can be slower, but it is a good solution for this reason.


4. Pray for the person.  This is an interesting solution offered by the Christians, Jews, Islamists and others who believe in God, the angels and the power of prayer.  In fact, this is another excellent solution.  It takes some time, and sometimes it takes years. 

It involves taking five or ten minutes at least once daily and maybe more to ask God or the angels or the high self committee or Allah to work with this person to end the person’s stubbornness.  That is all there is to it.  Some people go further and ask their family members, friends and even their entire church to pray for the person, as well.  This seems to work better.

This is a type of energetic solution that sets in motion an energy of healing and change that seems to permeate space and finally can overcome the opposing energy of stubbornness, in this case, and suddenly one day the person changes.  It is quite remarkable how it can work.  Blind scientific studies by Larry Dossey, MD and others have proven that this system of healing or changing others can work, and work well.

In fact, this may be the only solution if the problem is very severe and other avenues to help the person are blocked.  For example, if a person is so violent and addicted he or she must be in jail, it is hard to work with the person at all, in any way.  Yet prayer is always available, inexpensive, and a relatively easy method.


5. Send a healing intent.  This is very similar to prayer and to the solution above of patience and loving the person in a practical way.  In both cases, one does not punish the person for his or her stubbornness, but rather broadcasts a powerful healing intent that is often though not always picked up by the person, at least to some degree.


6. Send the person to counseling.  This is a traditional Western medical solution.  One visits a counselor and talks about one’s problems.  If the counselor is skilled and loving, counseling can work well.  The problems with counseling are:

a) The person must be willing to go for counseling, and continue it even if it gets a little unpleasant, at times.

b) It is usually somewhat costly, as it involves a professional.

c) Many, or some counselors are not that good and it does not work.  In fact, some people are made worse by liberal-minded counselors today, sadly.  For example, an incompetent counselor might allow the client to sway him or her.  The client convinces the counselor that the requests of a parent or teacher are unreasonable when it is not true.  However, the counselor was weak-willed, poorly informed, or something else.


 7. Fix the biochemistry, structure and balance of the mind and body with an energetic balancing program such as nutritional balancing science.  This program can increase the person’s energy level, improve clarity of thinking and memory, help undo traumas and brainwashing, improve processing ability and processing speed.  All of this can help undo stubborn qualities in some people.

Parents and teachers, for example, often report that a child becomes much more cooperative, happy and willing to go along with parental and teachers requests as their body chemistry becomes more balanced and healthy.  Work performance and relationships also improve dramatically in some cases as one’s energy level increases.  It is hard to go along with some requests when what you really want to do is just sleep or rest because your energy level is low and your mind does not work well. 

This is a much overlooked solution, in fact.  It is a relatively new solution, and not well-proven scientifically, yet.  It also takes some discipline, time, and some cost to buy the food and nutritional supplements.  Also, the medical and psychological professions do not support this approach at this time.  As a result, it can seem very far-fetched or strange.  However, it works amazingly well for those willing to do it.


8. Hypnosis or manipulation.  This is a method of conditioning the mind, often subtly or subliminally, to get someone to do what you want.  It is used all the time by sales people, parents, teachers, men wanting women to go on a date with them, women wanting to control their men, and so on.

Hypnosis or manipulation usually involves a type of seduction.  While there are many ways to do it, a simple one is to find out what a person wants at a deep emotional level, and then appear to give it to them, often by lying to the person to some degree.  In return, the person will often give you what you want. 

For example, some parents have developed this to a high art when dealing with their children.  Men use it to get their way with women, often easily.  Women use it to get what they want, often easily.  Sadly, human beings, especially those who are somewhat hypnotized or conditioned already, are often rather easy to manipulate.

Manipulation of this type is a form of bribery or negotiation (discussed below), but one that is done secretly and insidiously.  Hypnosis can be used for good, of course, such as to lose weight by getting rid of a stubborn bread habit, for example.  However, it carries some danger in all cases as it can be used to harm another badly, and this is done commonly, in fact.  So I do not recommend it in most cases.

It is also related to the method below of shaming or humiliating another person into doing what you want.  As with hypnosis, this is a dangerous method, though society often uses it well.  People are social animals, as they say.  Most do not want to be singled out and made to feel embarrassed or ashamed, so it works, but is not ideal.


9. Cajoling or joking around until the person sees how silly the game is.  This works now and then if one is glib and playful enough, and if the person is not too set in his or her ways.  This method works best with children, who are really just “testing” Mom and Dad by being stubborn.  It can work with others, too, if they are basically happy and playful. 

The stubborn person really just wants attention and to see what they can “cook up”.  So giving them the attention they need, and playing with them a little takes care of the problem.

Cajoling or joking around with the person is actually a wonderful method when it works.  Teenagers love it, in fact, as it is a form of loving them that most crave.  Wives and husbands use it, too.  It works any time that you can really love the person in a fun way and help the person see that your request is out of love, and little else.  In this way, it is one of the best methods if you can use it.


10. Bribe or negotiate with the person.  This method is used constantly in society and is necessary when the stubbornness is due to lack of understanding, honest differences of opinion, brain damage, or other things that cannot be easily fixed, yet you don’t want to have to use brute force.

For example, if people want to drink alcohol but alcohol is not helpful for them, one might negotiate and allow the person one drink a week, for example.  This can take care of the problem, where perhaps allowing no alcohol at all would cause a rebellion.

Negotiating, also called compromising, is used in many spheres of life such as politics.  It is necessary, but requires very sound judgment.  It easily becomes a kind of poker game in which you try to outsmart your opposition.  Unfortunately, the person making the request can often easily be outsmarted by a clever opponent.  Nations have been lost many times in this way. 

In other words, be careful.  The bible warns us of “bargaining with the devil”.  Anytime you compromise you must beware of this possibility.  However, compromise can also be one of the best ways to get some people to go along with your requests, so it is a double-edged sword, to be sure. 

For example, a child may learn that if Mom or Dad says NO to something, it no longer means NO.  It means Mom or Dad will negotiate or pay the child off to go along.   The child becomes hopelessly spoiled.  Also, the child will be unable to function well as an adult because in the adult world often there is no negotiating.

Bribing or negotiating is often helpful with teenagers.  They can be quite stubborn, at times, because they are curious to test their abilities and skills.  They can also resent parents or other adults who just seek to “control them and treat them like babies”.  Here you may be dealing with honest differences of opinion, although you may be dealing with budding manipulators.  Compromise has its place, but you must use your good judgment.


11. Use brute force with an intent to overpower the person.  This solution sounds drastic, and it is.  It is not usually not the best, but is necessary in some serious situations.  For example, if a small child refuses to stay off the roadway, a parent may need to simply grab hold of the child and hold him tightly.

Another interesting need for this solution, oddly, is if the “stubborn” person is not really stubborn, but has been conditioned to respond only to force.  This is more common than one may think.  In this case, reasoning and kind words may not work.  The reason is the person has been taught or conditioned to respond to requests only if they are accompanied by force.

In these cases, harsh words or very harsh punishments may be needed.  This is how some prison systems work, for example, and they can work well in some cases.  Other forceful methods to overpower another include grabbing hold and shaking the person, yelling at the person, humiliating the person, shocking the person somehow.  Sadly, in some cases, this may be the only solution until the person can be deprogrammed and reprogrammed to respond to love and reason.

The obvious danger with this method is that it is a form of brainwashing or conditioning.  It is not good at all for this reason.  Societies that use violent means to get people to go along, for example, usually end quickly in violence.


12. Shame the person into agreeing with your request. Shaming is an ancient method of punishment or persuasion that works well in many societies.  It works because most people have pride and do not want to be seen as deficient, different, or less than others in some way.

The danger of shaming is that it can have serious consequences on the brain and the personality.  For example, rapists use shaming as a way to control their victims, who are usually afraid to talk about their experience because it is so humiliating.  Children who are ashamed of themselves often grow up weak, sad and depressed.  They may commit suicide, take drugs, get pregnant or become promiscuous in a misguided effort to regain some pride or popularity in some way.  So shaming people into anything must be done very carefully and cautiously.


13. Make the person believe that the thing you want them to do is their idea, not yours.  This is an old trick that sometimes work, but takes some skill to actually do.  It requires setting up the person with the right knowledge and then allowing them or helping them to come to the conclusion you desire for them.

This method can be excellent and is used by advertisers all of the time.  It can be wonderful, or it can be a total lie and manipulation, and form of brainwashing. 




The conclusion to this article is that getting people to go along with your requests is not a simple matter, but it is one that we all must deal with, at times.  We require it as parents, as employers, as teachers, as doctors or nurses, as spouses, and even as friends.

The best persuaders are usually those who are very flexible, who listen carefully, appear sincere and are willing to change methods when necessary.  These can all be wonderful qualities, but the chance for manipulation and subtle violence against others remains always a possibility any time you wish to persuade another.

Thus, learning how to persuade can bring you great riches and power.  However, it can also lead to horrible problems and very negative consequences when lies and manipulation are used on people.  So Integrity is the key.




To be continued …



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