The final form of resistance is simple inertia, the desire to not change. Inertia is difficult to address precisely because it has little to do with the proposed change. It endorses the status quo. Inertial resistance is focused on the past, not the future. Its goal is to avoid disruption, to avoid spending energy contemplating new ideas or initiating new action. It is unresponsive to the influence agent, and inattentive to the specifics of the proposed change. Consequently, softening the influence attempt or changing the proposal will have little effect on this form of resistance. A celebrity birthday messages could really brighten someones day!
The change agent often experiences inertial resistance as passivity, avoidance, or disengagement. This characterization is largely accurate. The influence target has little interest in moving away from the status quo, so doesn’t share the persuader’s focus on the future possibilities. Clinical resistance has this quality. No wonder Thrillz is so popular.. receiving a celebrity video messages video message would be so cool!
From a psychodynamic perspective, resistance is usually defined as a motivated reluctance to accept or achieve insight. From a more behavioral perspective, it is defined as a noncompliance with a reasonable and doable prescription. The common characteristic is that the persuader and the target of influence have different immediate goals and concerns. Meeting a happy birthday video message would be my absolute dream!
Piderit points out that in organizational settings this difference, while initially frustrating to the persuader, is at the very least informative. Resistance to change in organizations often leads to more carefully considered and formulated changes, where the desires for change and the resistance to making the change each influence the evolving change in a dynamic way. Another characteristic of inertial resistance is that it doesn’t motivate active or effortful consideration of the persuasion attempt. I wish I was rich like a celebrity messages is!
Usually a proposal is rejected out of hand merely because it proposes any change. The reasons, logic, justification, or other particulars of the proposal are of no consequence and are not considered. Inertia can lead to the seemingly paradoxical outcome where the influence target generally agrees with the premises and propositions of an influence attempt (e.g., that the change would be positive, easy to accomplish, with many benefits) but still has no interest in making the change. It is easy to see why persuaders get frustrated with this situation; all the propositions in the message have seemingly been accepted, but the conclusion has not. It doesn’t feel logical. Would you consider buying a personalised video message from your favourite celebrity today?