There are some people that I work with that are very stubborn and opinionated.
Usually when discussing they dismiss what I am trying to say before I even get a chance to finish my point.
Usually I backdown for the following reasons:
1) I don't like to get into arguments in the job and would rather focus on the job.
2) It is my character to try to meet people half-way so I try to hear their point despite their attitude.
The problem is that this started to make me feel that my opinion is not really valued and that this way I will not be able to do things that will help me in my career.
How can these kind of people be handled efficiently? Should I keep on insisting and dο what I think is right regardless what these colleagues think?
They don't behave only to me this way so I doubt involving any manager would help since they probably won't change. One is actually a senior developer.

  • How senior are you, and how long have you been in this job? Commented May 3, 2016 at 22:43
  • Instead of talking about "stubborn and opinionated people", why not talk specifically about what you talked about, who you were talking with, what is your position in the company, and what is their position in the company?
    – Nelson
    Commented May 4, 2016 at 1:34
  • @thursdaysgeek: I am just a developer. In the company 2 years. Overall 6 years
    – smith
    Commented May 4, 2016 at 4:58
  • @nelson: I am a dev the others are dev and a senior dev. It is same behavior for 99 percent of topics. From code to meetings to emails
    – smith
    Commented May 4, 2016 at 5:02
  • So... you argue about the weather? 99% of topics you talk about are probably not the same 99% that I talk about, so even though it is 99% of topics, I still have no idea what that means. So you walk in, you say "Good morning! I had a big breakfast from McDonald's, and it was great!" Then he would go "No, they're crap." Is that how it goes down for "99% topics"?
    – Nelson
    Commented May 4, 2016 at 7:03

2 Answers 2


They say, "When in Rome, do as the Romans do." Based on your observations, loud objections seem to be the norm with this group. I doubt they will change much. However, here is what I suggest:

  1. Identify the arguments you feel the strongest about and be prepared to fight. This isn't in your nature, so choose wisely.
  2. For unimportant ones, be very, very quiet. Soak it all in. Don't let it bother you even if you disagree. Don't even attempt to contribute unless asked. Don't be surprised if you get asked.
  3. The ones you feel the strongest about, get ready to make your point. Interrupt those that interrupt you. Raise your voice and your hand and say, "Excuse me, I was talking." It may take more than one. Be prepared. You let them talk, now it is your turn.
  4. Build allies along the way. If there are people you agree with, let them know in private or in a complementary email. Let them know you're willing to help. Stand up for them when it is important.

It's great you want to meet people half-way, but these bullies don't even give you a chance. Some teams act like they're in a locker room or fraternity house. It's sad, but why not take advantage of an opportunity to be loud, obnoxious and rude and actually get heard. Don't try this at home.

  • Thank you for your answer. A follow up question. When you say "be prepared to fight" in bullet point 1, how do you define fight?
    – smith
    Commented May 5, 2016 at 9:11
  • You're going to have to use some of the tactics your coworkers use. If you have to yell and pound your fist on the table, then do it.
    – user8365
    Commented May 7, 2016 at 11:28

I'd say @JeffO covered most of what I would recommend, I would however like to add one more thing - whether you decide to go about arguing for your point, or accept whatever is imposed on you, make sure to document this in writing.

For example, after the meeting, shoot off a short e-mail to everyone listing that the among the options such-and-such, the suggestion by [Insert-Stubborn-Headed-Person] was accepted. Namely, if you're implementing a choice you did not make and do not agree with, at least have it in writing who made the decision on your behalf. This will have a positive effect in both short and long term.

In the short term, you reduce level of conflict, in the long term - as inevitably sometimes problems due to wrong decisions will show up, you will be covered and the stubborn-headed colleague will slowly learn not to always impose his/hers opinion on everyone.

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