This could be in a positive or negative way. So someone ignores people telling them to murder or someone ignores someone telling them to stop being rude. Basically how can you describe someone who just follows their gut in everything they do.

  • 3
    Are you looking for an adjective to describe such a person, or a noun which already carries this description?
    – webbcode
    Jun 18, 2015 at 18:03
  • 4
    I’ll probably be told that this is “better suited for Meta,” but I’ll ask it here anyway: Under and by what reasoning and authority was my up-voted comment (along with others) deleted overnight? To wit: " [1 upvote] Although perhaps not quite there yet (nor are the following single words), but such individuals often end up being [called]“loose cannons” or “lone wolves.” – Papa Poule 17 hours ago"
    – Papa Poule
    Jun 19, 2015 at 13:44
  • @PapaPoule that is indeed a better question for Meta. There's a good discussion on it here. My favorite characterization from that link is that comments are temporary 'Post-It' notes left on a question or answer, which are always meant to be removed once their usefulness has expired. In a perfect stackexchange world, ALL comments would eventually be removed to leave a cleaner site for future readers. Your particular comment was probably removed because it was an answer, which is not what the comment functionality is for.
    – webbcode
    Jun 19, 2015 at 14:04
  • Well, I was going to post a Cartman reference, but if it's just going to be deleted... Oh well, I think I'll ignore the site rules and do post it anyways because I want to. (And now I've left a different kind of meta comment.)
    – Patrick M
    Jun 19, 2015 at 22:36
  • Honey badger. He does what he wants! Jun 20, 2015 at 5:25

16 Answers 16



ob·sti·nate ˈäbstənət/ adjective stubbornly refusing to change one's opinion or chosen course of action, despite attempts to persuade one to do so.

Taken from Oxford Dictionaries.

  • Unyielding comes pretty close too. Jun 18, 2015 at 18:12
  • 2
    +1..."The obstinate Man does not hold Opinions, but they hold him," wrote Samuel Butler way back in the seventeenth century
    – Misti
    Jun 18, 2015 at 18:16
  • I knew I was missing the better option. I didn't realize obstinate applied to action, I thought it was just opinions. Then again thoughts become actions, so it makes sense! :)
    – mfoy_
    Jun 18, 2015 at 18:19
  • 8
    Is it really obstinacy to ignore people telling one to commit murder, as per the question?
    – JdeBP
    Jun 18, 2015 at 18:54
  • 5
    I do not think this word is neutral enough. Obstinacy has negative connotations. One definition of the word is "(of an unwelcome phenomenon or situation) very difficult to change or overcome."
    – MattY
    Jun 18, 2015 at 23:20

What about "maverick"? That's the word that came to my mind, although the following formal definitions don't exactly match your description.


Adjective: Showing independence in thoughts or actions.

Noun: One who does not abide by rules.


  • 2
    +1 That certainly captures well in one word (and with more neutrality) the two suggestions that I made up in the comments.
    – Papa Poule
    Jun 18, 2015 at 22:54
  • 1
    This is what popped in my mind as well when I first read the question, though of course it carried with it some wonderful McCain/Palin imagery.
    – webbcode
    Jun 19, 2015 at 14:06
  • The source citation(s) for your link/block quote(s) should appear in plain text, rather than as a hypertext link (to avoid the disabling effects of link-rot), but +1 for "maverick."
    – user98990
    Jun 20, 2015 at 19:24
  • 1
    Okay, but why haven't you told this to the other answers that do this?
    – user124384
    Jun 20, 2015 at 19:26

My choice(s) -


uncompromising (adj)

  • not making concessions


  • stubbornly obstructive (unwilling to cooperate)



Someone who just sticks to their own opinions while ignoring those of others is:

self-opinionated (Oxford)

Having an arrogantly high regard for oneself or one’s own opinions:

a pompous, self-opinionated bully

Not a single word, but try:

be your own person/woman/man (Cambridge)

to be in control of your life and not allow other people to tell you what to do:

Nobody tells me how to live my life - I'm my own man.

  • 2
    IMO, self-opinionated answers it to the OPs sastisfaction. Jun 18, 2015 at 18:35

This sort of independent thinking (good or bad) is shown by someone who is strong-minded.

strong-minded: adjective (Collins)

having strength of mind; firm, resolute, and determined
  • 2
    In a similar vein, the first word that popped into my mind was headstrong. Jun 19, 2015 at 13:33
  • 1
    @JanusBahsJacquet "Headstrong" is better than most of the actual answers here.
    – goldilocks
    Jun 20, 2015 at 11:23



  1. unreasonably obstinate; obstinately unmoving:

    • E.g. a stubborn child.
  2. fixed or set in purpose or opinion; resolute:

    • E.g. a stubborn opponent of foreign aid.
  3. obstinately maintained, as a course of action:

    • E.g. a stubborn resistance.
  4. difficult to manage or suppress:

    • E.g. a stubborn horse; a stubborn pain.



  1. without interest or concern; not caring; apathetic:

    • E.g. his indifferent attitude toward the suffering of others.
  2. having no bias, prejudice, or preference; impartial; disinterested.

  • 1
    Or in the famous words of Cartman: "Whateva, I do what I want"
    – mfoy_
    Jun 18, 2015 at 18:01
  • Cite the source of your link/block quote definitions in plain text somewhere in the body of your answer
    – user98990
    Jun 19, 2015 at 11:29

The most neutral term I can think of is nonconformist, which can be a noun or an adjective. As a noun, the relevant definition in Merriam-Webster's Eleventh Collegiate Dictionary (2003) is

a person who who does not conform to a generally accepted pattern of thought or action


Virtually all other answers, while certainly apt, connote negatively. Per the OP, please allow me to put a positive spin on this personal characteristic.

independently-minded adjective: self-reliant and seeking autonomy; see, Collins Dictionary

self-reliant adjective: Free from the influence, guidance, or control of others; see, the Free Dictionary

independent adjective: 2. Free from the influence, guidance, or control of another or others; self-reliant: an independent mind. see, the Free Dictionary

strong-minded adjective: 1. Having a determined will. 2. Having a vigorous, independent mind. see, the Free Dictionary



Wiktionary: adj. Having a vigorous, independent will


I'd call someone like that an individualist


a person who does things without being concerned about what other people will think


I could go with "insubordinate" on this one.

  • 3
    Welcome to ELU :-). This is a good suggestion, but your answer would be much more useful to the OP and future users of the website if you included a definition and/or examples of usage with adequate references. Thanks!
    – Lucky
    Jun 18, 2015 at 23:45
  • ... and citation(s) for your source(s).
    – user98990
    Jun 19, 2015 at 11:28

Another option: bull-headed

: not willing to change an opinion, plan, etc. : very stubborn in a foolish or annoying way


Perhaps a more neutral answer is pertinacious.

Like obstinacy and stubbornness, it refers to unshakeable opinions. Unlike those other words, pertinacity can be used in either a positive or negative sense.

1: adhering resolutely to an opinion, purpose, or design

perversely persistent

2: stubbornly tenacious

  • Welcome to ELU :-). This is a great word, but the answer would be even better if you included a reference to a dictionary from which you cited the definition. Thanks!
    – Lucky
    Jun 18, 2015 at 23:40
  • ... and citation(s) for your source(s).
    – user98990
    Jun 19, 2015 at 11:22

oblivious: not aware of or not concerned about what is happening around one.

Ex.: He is oblivious to criticism.

  • 1
    Cite the source of your block quote definition in plain text somewhere in the body of your answer.
    – user98990
    Jun 19, 2015 at 11:26
  • Source: the dictionary
    – Bizmarck
    Mar 16, 2016 at 18:56

One with a negative connotation:

dog·mat·ic (dôg-măt′ĭk, dŏg-) adj. 1. Relating to, characteristic of, or resulting from dogma. 2. a. Asserting or insisting upon ideas or principles, especially when unproven or unexamined, in an imperious or arrogant manner: "People in recovery groups can be dogmatic, asserting that the group's way is 'the way' or bashing other approaches" (Anne M. Fletcher). b. Characterized by such assertion, often with an unconsidered rejection of criticism: a dogmatic adherence to a single educational model.

Taken from here.


Selfish: having or showing concern only for yourself and not for the needs or feelings of other people Merriam-Webster

The selfish person ignores others and does what they want! This certainly covers the 'negative' scenario of OP's question, but also, the bit about "follow[ing] their gut in everything they do".

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