Rigidity and Relationships

Aug 27, 2013 by


“Rigidity always loses.” That was the statement that Colin Cowherd said on his ESPN Radio talk show recently. I first wondered about the boldness (rigidity of that statement). AND, there is a difference between standing firm and rigidity. I believe he is correct. I also know that the opposite of rigidity is not tolerance, but several have written well along those lines and that could be best for another time.

Now, I cannot speak for Colin Cowherd, but as I understand this, I am not talking about those non-negotiable values that you would betray your own soul if allowed to move. This is not rigidity. I firmly believe this is uncompromising, and we would be shallow to allow someone to sway us differently. This is making a stance.

There are some strong stances, issues, beliefs, in most of our lives that have been challenged and people have willingly been moved to a different view.

But let’s get back to rigidity. In our relationships I have seen many who have become so rigid that it has only caused harm rather than help in the relationship. Rigidity becomes stubbornness and when stubbornness appears we all begin to lose.

Think about it, rigid in relationships such as parenting or marriage. There should always be room for us to grow, learn, and practice compromise in a healthy way. There are viewpoints that are different and may well be right or better than ours.

I think of the way I was raised. The principles and values instilled in me are invaluable in shaping me and I stand firm on those. However the method and some of the stances that my parents had are not the same as mine. I love them, but chose to not raise my children in all of the same manner/methodology. Rigidity loses, and when I lighten up on the non-essentials, I become better.

When a company is rigid on the company line and a rule is a broken rule, it is wrong to not consider the circumstances or the reason. Stealing from a company is wrong (just in case you are curious, YES, stealing is wrong, period). But let’s say, leaving work suddenly without reporting it because of an accident your child had at school needs to be considered before simply declaring “that was wrong, you broke the rule, and therefore will be disciplined.” The reasons behind a person’s actions need to be considered.

Rigidity in all things will eventually lose. Firmness, belief, taking a stand is necessary but being rigid in all things causes for a tough life for you and others. It causes more pain in relationships than pleasure, and we need to enjoy and celebrate one another while lovingly helping one another become better.

Don’t be an oak. Be a willow; then you can bend.

  • In what ways have you allowed rigidity to cause a rift in your relationship(s)?
  • What do you need to change to become less rigid?
  • How can you help someone else become less rigid or stubborn?
  • How do you view the statement that rigidity always loses?

Leave us a comment and let us know what you think about rigidity.


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