In the battle of the sexes, men appear to be more stubborn than women.

How to Change a Stubborn Man's Mind

by Beth Burgess

Men can appear to be the more stubborn of the sexes, which you may have experienced if you've ever tried to convince a man he is wrong about anything. The reason for this is that men's conversational goals differ from women's. While women seem to be naturally predisposed to seek closeness and confirmation when they talk, men are more focused on achieving independence. So it's a good idea to use some psychological loopholes to convince a man to change his mind.

1. Power in Small Numbers

While it may be tempting to gather a large group of your buddies together to tell a stubborn man how wrong he is, psychology suggests that this approach will only make him dig his heels in further. Psychologists at HP Labs found that people were more likely to revise their opinion when exposed to a small number of people who disagreed with them. When presented with a large number of people who expressed the opposite view, the subjects in the experiment were less likely to conform.

2. Give Him Time

The study above, which was carried out with the help of an intern from Carnegie Mellon University, found that time was an important factor when it came to whether or not people would change their minds. People were more likely to change their minds if some time had elapsed since they made their original decision. Perhaps surprisingly, people were also more likely to have a change of heart if they had spent a long time making their original decision, which is good news if you want to change the mind of a man who is especially stubborn.

3. Understand What He Wants

A useful debate technique called The Ransberger Pivot was created as a way of resolving conflict by finding common ground. Devised by Ray Ransberger and Marshall Fritz, the first step is listening to the other person's ideas and objections in an attempt to understand his deeper concerns, needs and desires. Once you have discovered what your opponent really wants, you present your own solutions as a way of meeting those needs. Even the stubbornest man would find it hard to resist a solution that takes his most fundamental needs into account.

4. Make Him Think It's His Idea

According to the book "Persuasion: Social Influence and Compliance Gaining," the easiest way to make a man change his mind is to play on his goals, plans, resources and beliefs. Authors Robert H. Gass and John S. Seiter say that customizing your message toward an individual is the most effective way of getting through. We already know that men's goals for communication tend to be focused on achieving the upper hand, so using reverse psychology on a man is likely to work well.

About the Author

Beth Burgess is a health and happiness expert. Burgess works as a therapist, specializing in addiction, anxiety, stress and mental well-being. Author of "The Recovery Formula" and "The Happy Addict," she writes articles to help others achieve happy lives and healthy relationships.

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