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The intransigence, where does it come from?

The intransigence, where does it come from?

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Santiago and Javier are friends since childhood. Both have a habit of going out to dinner at the same bar on Saturdays. Javier proposes to change the place from time to time, but Santiago refuses, he only likes the one they go to. On the other hand, from time to time they discuss sport and, above all, politics. Santiago has strong ideas of how things should be, while Javier is open to change and different possibilities, something that Santiago seems horrible. The intransigence of Santiago in many aspects, has made both have had several distances during his life.

Where does intransigence arise? Why are people so firm in convictions unable to see beyond? Moreover, why are some people not only firm but they ride in anger when another point of view is proposed? Many of us have an acquaintance with whom we have had to veto some subject. We know that to talk about a certain aspect with that acquaintance is to end up arguing, since if he is not right, he becomes angry. Moreover, he not only wants to be right, but impose his criteria. Why does this happen? Let's go deeper!


  • 1 Intransigence
  • 2 Egocentrism
  • 3 Intransigence and fear
  • 4 How to overcome intransigence


Intransigence could be defined as the attitude through which we are unable to accept other opinions or positions.. We cling to the way we see life and do not grant space to other points of view. For example, when someone is a strong defender of a political party, it is very possible that he is unable to praise a good initiative of another party. Intransigence, carried on a social level, can cause episodes of racism, xenophobia, homophobia, etc.

Thanks to social networks, you can watch videos in which one person insults another just for being gay. They have also seen harassment from one person to another for the mere fact of being a foreigner or having another skin color. The intransigence, in these cases, is obvious. There are different degrees of intransigence, from those who observe in the distance and remain silent, to those who insult and physically aggress.


The intransigence comes from an excessive egocentrism. When we observe and analyze our surroundings from our convictions, we are more likely to reject other opinions. The more clinging we are to what we think and the more we take it by the way, the more uncompromising we will be. All this comes from our learning history, both of our parents and friends, and of the social environment in which we live.

Looking at our surroundings from our point of view, a comparison emerges: how things are and how they should be. If what we read, listen and observe does not match what we think, it is believed in us rejection towards it. Self-centeredness makes us interpret it as harmful, as destabilizing. It involves an attack on our strongest convictions and a danger to our beliefs. But, Why is it so dangerous? What is hidden behind? The fear.

Intransigence and fear

Fear is a basic emotion that helps us save our lives in times of danger. Nevertheless, it contains a cultural component with which we can reject what is different. For example, when we do not know another culture or other ways of thinking, we can reject it because of an unconscious fear that our belief system will falter. We feel safe with our thoughts, although they may harm us, but it is what we know and what we have become accustomed to.

Our comfort zone is so attractive that it prevents us, on many occasions, what can get us out of there. In this way, we prefer the bad known to the good to know. Although we can have a hard time on many occasions, we are unable to make decisions for fear of what we do not know. We reject the different by thinking that the new can be "toxic" to us. A lot of people think: "Nobody has to tell me what I have to do", "that meditation is useless", "things are like that and there is no more".

How to overcome intransigence

A starting point to overcome intransigence is to accept that our vision and opinion of our surroundings has been created through experience, that is, it is only our point of view. Each person is a different way of thinking, why are our thoughts more correct than those of another person? As long as no ideology represents a physical or psychological threat to others, opinions are free and varied. Why is F.C. Barcelona better or worse on an ideological level than Real Madrid? Who has the absolute truth about whether one suit is prettier than another?

Endeavoring to defend a single point of view is to limit enrichment. However, accepting that there are other opinions, other ways of seeing problems and our day to day, can open our minds. As the Buddhist teacher Lama Rinchen states: "If we are a bowl upside down, nothing enters us; if we are a pierced bowl, everything you throw is lost; if we contain poison, we will contaminate what we receive; but if we are an empty bowl and in the right position, we can better contain the new knowledge ".

Thus, the best way to overcome intransigence is through opening our mind to new ideas and new ways of thinking. Inflexibility can be a source of suffering and confrontations, so flexibility will bring us greater well-being and inner peace.


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