When Being Stubborn Is A Good Thing

When Stubborn Is Good

Stubbornness has long been one of my endearing qualities. As a kid, I was a champion at resisting authority and excelled at digging in my heels. It got me in a fair amount of trouble, but sometimes being stubborn was a good thing.

When Stubborn Is Good

I learned from a master. My grandmother was well known for her stubbornness. Like the time in the hospital when the night nurse came around to collect her dentures to be cleaned. Grandma refused. Uh-uh, no way, she was not cooperating.

Finally, the exasperated nurse reached in and grabbed Grandma’s teeth.  But they wouldn’t come out. Even Grandma’s teeth were stubborn. Actually, they were real, and since the nurse refused to believe that an 80-year-old woman could have all her natural teeth, Grandma bit her to settle the matter.

She bit her real good, too.

So to stand up for yourself, to demonstrate your commitment, or to hold on to your body parts, being stubborn is good.

Only we don’t use the word stubborn when it’s good. We use words like persistent, determined, or resolute.

When It’s Bad

But when others think we’re being unreasonable, they’ll ignore our steadfast, unyielding discipline, and label it stubbornness. Like the time I refused to stop my unorthodox plan to propose to my wife.

I couldn’t just take a knee, offer a ring and ask her to marry me. I had to be clever. I had to do something memorable.

So I sent her a beautiful floral arrangement. But not from me. From “Will.”  Then I was going to send one the next day from “Hugh”, then one the day after that from “Mary”, and a final one at the end of the week from “Me.”

Only, my execution was flawed. I misplaced the ring, spent a week searching for it, then sent the second bouquet a week late. That would have been a good time to revise the plan. But nooo, not me. I had to be resolute, steadfast, and determined.

Also stubborn, stupid, and nearly arrested.

My wife thought she was being stalked by a weirdo. So she called the cops. The cops called the florist, then they called me, and I had some ‘splaining to do. Meanwhile, all those expensive flowers went in the trash.

Is It Time To Let Go?

So now and then we need to ask ourselves if we’re being reasonable. Yeah, it’s subjective. But if we’re honest with ourselves, we may find those folks have a point now and then. Sometimes we just need to let go.

And that’s where I am right now. I’ve been posting something here every Thursday for 95 weeks in a row. But sometimes I think the only reason I keep doing it is out of sheer stubbornness. I don’t want to end the streak. I don’t want to be a quitter.  But I’m also not writing with the same purpose or energy as I was before.

It shows in the stats. My audience is no longer growing, perhaps because I’m no longer growing as a writer. At least it doesn’t feel like it right now. I think I’m posting every Thursday out of sheer stubbornness.

Your Thoughts

What do you think? Am I being stubborn in a good way, persisting at a creative effort and continuing what I started? Or am I being unreasonable? Am I digging in my heels because I’m stuck?

I’d like to hear what you think. Maybe I’m just being an insecure artiste. Maybe I just need to shut up and write. But what do you think? Has it gone stale? Is it time to rethink this thing? Is my stubbornness good or bad?

Perhaps it’s the crash from Halloween’s sugar rush, but I can’t help but think it’s time for a change. Maybe I should try something else for a while…


10 thoughts on “When Being Stubborn Is A Good Thing”

  1. Reminds me of sumthin’ I just reminded a friend of just yesterday (which, truthfully, is me remindin’ me ; ), “The most common reason for failure?… Quitting
    “Shut up and write”

  2. This reminds of a story about my mom and dad, from my mother’s perspective. She said when she met my dad she was impressed by his persistence. After they were married she thought at times he could be quite stubborn. Then after a while she realized that the difference between when she thought he was persistent and when he was stubborn was basically whether she agreed with him or not!

    1. Steve, good insight on the marriage equation. Now I have to figure out which voice in my head is the more objective one. Perhaps there’s a married couple rattling around up there…

  3. Your writing still seems insightful to me. Missing a week won’t ruin the program though. Some writers create big pieces and cut them up into part 1 , 2 , 3 etc. It is a way to have something for every week.

    1. Thanks for the advice Tod. Maybe you’re on to something. Bigger pieces chopped up into smaller posts – I like it!

  4. 1) you are not being stubborn in any way
    2) you are not being unreasonable
    3) you are an insecure artiste which is not a bad thing-
    for my money, better to be an insecure artiste rather than an egotistical arrogant bastard, that’s just my opinion and I could be wrong but I don’t think so
    4) keep doing what you’re doing and send me the rest of your leftover Halloween candy in a plain unmarked paper bag….NOW!

  5. Like an artist, go on hiatus. Even Dear Abby took time off.

    If you miss it…come back and write a piece now and then…or not. Only you will know, and only then.

    Who said every Thursday? Or weekly, or a Monthly? What really is the best frequency?

    Trust that if you are compelled to write, we will be here.

    We will be here

    Gather yourself. Then decide.

    1. Thanks for being there Scott. I will gather myself. Just need a body bag big enough for all my self-doubt…

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