Rigid person - Who is this? Rigidity - What is it in Psychology?

Have you ever encountered stubborn people who are difficult to convince of anything? Or perhaps you yourself are not flexible and have difficulty changing your beliefs, behavior, and perceptions? Stubbornness is often considered a stupid whim, a whim, a manifestation of egocentrism, etc. But in fact, it is a manifestation of a special personality quality called rigidity. It can control our lives, but getting rid of it is not so easy, because rigidity is associated with many mental processes, and we are often predisposed to it from birth.

Rigidity: description of the concept and main characteristics

This is a mental property that is not characteristic of every individual.
Rigidity is promoted by a person’s mentality, character, disposition and heredity. Such qualities as conservatism and reluctance to make quick changes are at the root of the concept of “rigidity”. Psychologists tend to believe that if observed in moderation, this quality can be very useful. However, a person who abuses his own obstinacy and unwillingness to change himself and the world around him should think about pathology. But rigidity cannot always be attributed to a mental illness. Rather, this quality is a character trait. Here education plays a huge role.

When an individual suffers from obvious manifestations of rigidity, it can be assumed that he will soon subject himself to maladjustment. However, most psychologists say that rigid people clearly control their behavior and simply tend to exaggerate their own feelings and desires.

The degree of manifestation of rigidity varies. According to scientists, there are cases of catastrophic inability of an individual to adapt to new realities, or manifestations of rigidity in a partial sense. It is precisely the level of rigidity that depends on the psychology of the individual, as well as the characteristics of each specific situation that requires the manifestation of adaptability qualities.

Rigid people are very impressionable, unreliable (you cannot rely on them, trust them), stubborn, and very emotional. They clearly demonstrate their reluctance to change or adapt.

The individuality of a person as an individual - what is it?

Manifestations of this trait

Increased aggressiveness and anxiety are considered the first signs of rigidity in behavior. It is these personality traits that manifest psychological rigidity: when the situation changes unpredictably, a person does not know how to behave or how to react correctly. Therefore, he gets angry and stressed because this happened to him.

Signs of rigidity of attitudes are:

  • rigid determination, readiness to achieve the goal at any cost;
  • law-abiding behavior, high level of personal morality;
  • perfectionism, pedantry;
  • accuracy;
  • stereotypical thinking, reaction, behavior;
  • constancy of habits;
  • a person’s inability to abandon an ineffective behavior pattern;
  • the desire to implement fantastic or insignificant ideas;
  • fear of any innovation;
  • love for various daily rituals;
  • protest against any changes in the usual way of life;
  • suspiciousness, suggestibility;
  • emotional excitability and impressionability;
  • poorly developed self-control;
  • painful perception of criticism, refusal to admit one’s own mistakes;
  • desire to dominate in relationships;
  • authoritarian style in communication

How can you tell if a person is rigid in front of you?

Rigidity, according to experienced specialists in the field of psychology, is nothing more than a psychopathic phenomenon, characteristic of individuals with obvious paranoid tendencies, sick by nature, which is called hereditary factors.
Rigidity is a mental illness. If the degree is aggravated by other factors (withdrawal, depression, frequent manifestations of aggression), this option can be considered clinical. The patient needs to be treated. And here specialists from the psychiatric service get involved.

Rigid people are very conflicted. If a person has a lot of ideas, even if they are not feasible, such a person is literally obsessed with his thoughts.

However, not all experts believe that rigidity is a diagnosis. According to the comments of a number of psychologists, the concept should be considered in a positive way.

Such properties are in great demand in work activities that involve routine. For example, working at a machine, sorting, at a conveyor belt.

Conservatism is not always a negative concept. But if a person develops a sharp fear of change, surprises, and at the same time the person does not react in any way to a change in the situation, falling into a stupor, it is better to take control of this condition by paying close attention. If necessary, you should undergo a course of treatment, as well as conversations with a psychologist.

It is important to remember that focusing on the inability to change with fundamental changes in society or the environment of such an individual does not in any way affect his self-esteem. In fact, rigidity can be contrasted with flexibility of mind, a high degree of adaptability to new conditions and circumstances.

Typical Features

Typical features of behavior, speech, and thinking are identified.


Rigid people exhibit conservative behavior .

Unexpectedly changing environmental conditions cause them rejection and stupor.

The chances of adaptation in extreme situations are quite low.

They always try until the last moment not to acknowledge the changes taking place and not to change their usual style of behavior. Unpreparedness for change does not in any way affect your overall self-confidence.

The self-esteem and self-esteem of such people are always maintained at a fairly high level, thanks to which they are able to achieve a significant social position even in the absence of the necessary mental plasticity.


People of this psychological type have the following thinking characteristics:

  1. Stubbornness .
    Confidence in one’s own rightness and inability to objectively perceive criticism directed at oneself. A person always defends his personal point of view, considering it the only correct one.
  2. Impressionability . Even minor events related to significant aspects of life can cause strong emotional distress. The feelings experienced cannot be hidden from others.
  3. Stability of beliefs . The existing system of moral attitudes, opinions and beliefs cannot be influenced from the outside.
  4. Inability to show flexibility . The need to adapt to a changed situation often requires people to change their behavior and abandon their plans. Rigid individuals, unlike flexible ones, cannot accept the fact of change and adjust to different circumstances.


Rigid speech means monotony of words , frequent use of cliches and pauses. Sometimes this definition is applied to the slow speech of the interlocutor.

The reason may lie in the characteristics of temperament, lack of vocabulary , unconsciously copying the manner of speaking of other people.

The peculiarity of speech may also indicate insufficient development of intelligence. To quickly and flexibly select suitable words during a conversation, you need to have a high level of intelligence.

Educated, well-read people always have an extensive vocabulary. They are able to select synonyms for words and adjust the manner of conversation depending on the proposed circumstances (social circle, environment, etc.).

Since the individual’s psyche has integrity, the general rigidity of thinking and behavior can be directly reflected in speech.

Types of rigidity

In psychology, there are only 3 main types of rigidity:

  1. Cognitive.
    The cognitive variety is caused by a person’s inability to change the picture of phenomena and worldview he himself has formed. Despite the fact that there is more and more information in the modern world, you need to be able to adapt to changes in society.

    Such people are practically unable to correct the planned action. If they have already determined for themselves this or that scheme according to which they will act, they will definitely not change it, under any circumstances.

  2. Motivational.
    The motivational type of rigidity involves a refusal to change established and long-accepted needs. This applies to food preferences and behavioral reactions. Such an individual simply gets stuck in the same situations, repeating them over and over again.

    The habit of working under the same conditions and receiving a stable salary is also a kind of motivational type of rigidity.

  3. Affective.
    The affective type is characterized by the creation of “exorbitant” ideas and the constant desire to implement them. Each such thought is of particular value. It should not change under any circumstances.

These are classic types of rigidity.
However, according to modern psychologist and scientist Andrei Yudin, rigidity of one type or another may also differ in the degree of influence on the individual. And here it all depends on life factors and situations:

  1. Cognitivists
    , with a high degree of rigidity, are absolutely unable to build an optimal sequence of their own steps if the situation changes unexpectedly. No matter how the world changes, these people will still not change their previously planned plans.
  2. Motivators
    never strive to correct their own mistakes or mistakes. And they don’t want to constantly learn something, saying that they already have all the necessary knowledge.
  3. Affective people
    are out of tune with their feelings and spiritual moods. And from the reactions themselves, you can understand that a person is not friends with himself. He focuses his attention on one object or action and does not want to transfer it somewhere else or be scattered among other events.


A rigid personality type, as a rule, is formed in childhood or at the stage of growing up. Parents are often to blame for this. The reason is their increased demands on the child and distrust of his actions, especially if this is expressed in an aggressive form.

Constant fear for the correctness of the results of one’s actions necessitates constant recognition of one’s importance. The child begins to strive for absolute leadership; a desire arises to always be the first, the best, and irreplaceable.

Rigid individuals, talking about their childhood, often claim that their relationship with their parents was normal, even friendly to some extent. But it was superficial communication without mutual expression of feelings.

Experiencing injustice towards himself, such a child tries to get rid of his worries. For this purpose, he puts on a protective mask of composure - rigidity. A person of this type appears insensitive, convincing himself that nothing concerns him. In fact, these are very vulnerable people who hide their emotional experiences from others.

Already in childhood, such a child notices that he is valued more for his actions, and not for his essence. He is sure of this, even if it is a mistaken opinion. For this reason, he becomes diligent and hardworking. A rigid person always solves all his problems himself. He seeks help in the most extreme cases. Does not like to talk about his troubles to others.

A rigid person loves punctuality, but he himself is prone to being late, since his preparations are often delayed. Being confident that the boss is always right, he is afraid of authoritative people.

Since a rigid person is always confident that he is right and honest, he perceives any doubt about this as an insult. He is prone to exaggeration, is too demanding of himself and is afraid to make mistakes.

A rigid person is a clear portrait

Rigidity since childhood

Psychologists advise equipping yourself with skills and knowledge that will allow you to quickly recognize rigid people. They will be useful to managers and HR departments of enterprises, teachers, and doctors.

The list of features includes the following rigidity characteristics:

  • Stubbornness, no matter what.
  • Following old habits.
  • Impressionability.
  • Harmfulness, inconsistency with one’s own statements.
  • Excessive emotionality.
  • Suggestibility.
  • Unwillingness to correct mistakes and repent of what they have done.
  • Inability to analyze one's own actions.

Stereotypes, constructivism and conservatism are clear signs of a person who is naturally prone to rigidity.
They cannot change themselves. New trends, fashion, changing trends and directions - all this is incomprehensible to individuals who fall into the rigid category. The thinking of these individuals is not flexible, it is very difficult to communicate with them. If they put forward any ideas, they must be implemented invariably, in their original form. These people are simply not able to learn anything new. The unpredictability of the situation for them is equal to collapse.

What if rigidity is given to us all in moderation?

In this way, rigidity can be used to its advantage.
The same conservatism in reasonable “doses” makes it possible to insist on one’s own when a person is right. Accuracy and pedantry “work” in the same direction. When a person also knows how to set priorities and enjoys constant calm and balance, then such a person is indispensable in any process, including production.

If measures are taken to show pedantry, conscientiousness, and adherence to principles, it is not difficult for a person to adapt to any situation.

After all, it is often worth using an opportunity for your own purposes, and being able to adjust the situation to suit yourself. A number of other qualities of rigid people that play into their hands:

  • Straightforwardness.
  • Honesty.
  • Desire to be specific.
  • A thorough approach to business.

At the same time, the psyche of such individuals is very resistant to stress, it is difficult to anger them. Here, stubbornness also plays a huge role, similar to perseverance and incorruptibility, steadfastness.


Rigidity in psychology is the inability of a person to adapt to unexpected changes in the environment.

People with rigid thinking become obsessed with their ideas, which often develops into paranoia. The rigidity of the nervous system is pronounced in young children: they stand their ground, are often quite intractable, and attached to things. One way or another, rigidity does not always become a person’s enemy. Sometimes it works for the good and helps to achieve success.

Examples of rigid behavior

Reluctance to master and use the latest technologies, gadgets, mobile phones, tablets.
Even if they make life much easier. In this regard, rigid people are guided by the following rule or rhetorical question: “If I am used to doing this, then why should it be different?” The unexpected is scary. Rigid people are very afraid to travel, discover new realities, and adapt their own ideas to the current or changing situation. New ways of behavior are alien to such individuals.

For example, such a person was pushed in the subway or on a busy street. He will “digest” this event for a couple of days. The situation may not even turn into a conflict, but the rigid object will begin to eat itself, constantly replaying the current circumstances in its mind. But at the same time, life goes on, and new situations and moments happen. And they are more important and significant, but a rigid individual does not notice this.

Such individuals interact with others, referring exclusively to the principles of competition. If a person is not deprived of intelligence and is highly educated, rigidity can help demonstrate leadership abilities and even lead a large team.

Obsession with ideas and the ability to “infect” them makes it possible to lead like-minded people. So the idea of ​​​​creating a trade union from among exclusively female representatives is nothing more than an opportunity to work despite discrimination against women and for the benefit of good ideas.

Rigid people are excellent economists and accountants. They are capable of routine work and paperwork. Such individuals are suitable for those professions where it is necessary to show accuracy, calculation, a clear plan of action, and categoricalness.


There are three main groups of rigidity:

  1. Cognitive . The desire to constantly adhere to standard, developed patterns of behavior. Lack of ability to develop a new plan of action taking into account changed initial circumstances.
  2. Affective . The absence of a relationship between ongoing events and the severity of the emotional reaction to them. Affective rigidity manifests itself in excessive concentration on objects and overvalued ideas.
  3. Motivational . Violation of the motivation system. There is no desire to perceive new motives for carrying out activities. Unwillingness to give up formed needs and their usual satisfaction.


Therapy is a last resort because it involves penetration into the patient’s consciousness. Psychotherapy begins with a cognitive analysis of the personality. In accordance with the research, a text is compiled that the psychotherapist will read.

The patient is placed in a dark room. His attention is directed to the green flickering dot. Flashes of light are synchronized with the text of the suggestion. In this way, the patient is placed in a trance state and continues to read the text.

When the suggestion session is completed, the patient is transferred to a state of sleep until he wakes up on his own. Number of sessions: 8-10 sessions.

This method of treating rigidity is not effective. Clinics do not always have the ability to provide the necessary equipment.

An analogue that does not require technical intervention is Erickson’s method.

This method includes several methods:

  1. From the opposite. The patient is taught commands with the particle “no”, causing a controversial reaction and a desire to do the opposite (an example of an attitude: “You don’t need to make a decision so quickly”).
  2. Choice without choice. The patient is asked a question, the answer to which is not his own choice (“Do you want to start the hypnosis session now or later?”).
  3. Consistent adoption. Statements are made to the patient in the order in which he agrees with the first statement. Then, by inertia, he will give affirmative answers to all subsequent statements.

This method of treatment is considered more effective, since the person is immersed in a less deep state of trance. The influence here occurs mainly on habitual judgments, which are ultimately rejected by the patient through correctly asked questions and statements.

What is HSR manifested in?

Damage to muscle tone can affect any age group, but often medical staff diagnose deviations from the norm only in the period of 30 years and above. A characteristic feature of the disorder is gradual progression. The first abnormal symptoms are observed in the form of transient tension and pain in the muscles of the spinal region, cervical region and abdominal cavity. Subsequently, the rigidity acquires a constant course and against its background, temporary spasms of an intense nature are formed. After a few months, the disease spreads to the proximal areas of the upper and lower extremities. According to average statistics, 25% of patients experience spasms of the facial zone, which cause hypomimia or uncontrolled motor activity (for example, the lips may stretch too much during abnormal overstrain of the orbicularis muscle). The anomaly extends to the distal parts, usually the lower leg. Rigidity occurring in the flexor muscle sections provokes arching of the back, the formation of visible lordosis of the lower back, elevation of the shoulder groups and weak tilting of the head.

Patients with a conclusion of HRF are distinguished by an abnormal flat stomach, a characteristic gait that resembles the movements of a wind-up toy (slow and awkward). In severe stages of the disease, patients cannot independently take a sitting position or, conversely, get up from a chair, get dressed, turn their head in the right direction or bend over. At the same time, the effect of tightly fused arms and legs along with the body is created, as they move in tandem. In case of damage to the respiratory area, respiratory failure is observed even with minimal physical exertion.

There are three types of muscle spasms:

  • Spontaneous - for no apparent reason.
  • Promotional - caused by physical activity.
  • Reflex - by variable external stimuli (touch, cold air, emotional jump).

Often spasmodic reactions occur in the dorsal region and lower extremities. The duration of the abnormal symptom ranges from a few seconds to tens of minutes. At some points, the force of tension can reach a critical point and provoke a fracture or dislocation. In the case of a spasmodic reaction of the respiratory department, a rhythm disturbance is observed. During attacks, patients may fall. Usually, the symptoms proceed in a painful nature, which after the end remains in the form of a dull, cerebral character. Often emotional stress and autonomic disorders cause seizures. During the course of the disease, the patient receives peace of mind only at night, when he sleeps.

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