I had a pretty unpleasant conflict with a friend of mine. I could be mistyping her as ISTJ. Please note I enjoy ISTJ regardless of what I'm asking about here. I'd like to see if you all recognize the dynamic and if you know of another way I could go about this.
This thread is open to non-ISTJs as well.
Me: admission of behavior and proactive expression of desire to visit the underlying values and ethics
Her: That was really wrong. You are a bad person for doing that.
Me: I'm already reflecting on the situation for myself, I do not need you to assert moral judgment to force me to admit to doing something wrong.
Her: [passive aggressive comment implying that only an irrational or unreasonable person would engage said behavior]
Me: Pointing out that I know several people personally who are logical, rational, reasonable, and who did this too. Restating of my preference to not have her push so hard for me to say I am wrong.
[aside: there is a huge huge difference between evaluating *behavior* and judging a person who engaged in the behavior. It is pretty hurtful to be told you are bad to the core when what that person more accurately means is that they disapprove of your behavior. It helps when someone acknowledges the difference between a person and their behavior more readily. She didn't.]
Me: alternative ideas
Her: shooting down all of them, on a soap box, practically obsessed with being right in such a way that all I can do is BE wrong for her to let up about it.
[please note that a few others agreed with me that her approach was unnecessarily rigid, amounted to shaming me, and agreed that she seemed to be almost obsessed with making me wrong and forcing me to admit she was right]
...Anyway, I still have love for ISTJs and I still have love for this friend. (I'm not even sure she is ISTJ but based on the way this unfolded I'm wondering.)
But I don't do this style of conflict very well. I dig in my heels. I try not to get mean in response but it just really really grates on me if someone is trying to force me to see things their way as if that is the only conceivable way in existence. It also aggravates me when a conflict is one person trying to be right where they refuse to acknowledge any gray areas.
It also bothers me when a person won't acknowledge that I have values and morals too, and it is aggravating when someone asserts that I must be an awful person if my morals don't match theirs perfectly. Even if my morals do match theirs, and even if I've pointed that out to them, if I don't express that in the exact way they want - accepting the shaming from them - then they still persist with trying to make that happen.
It is just not a style of conflict I do very well. I try to handle it with awareness but there's usually a very strong urge to say something I know will hurt that person's feelings just to get them to back off.
(1) Have you been on either side of such a conflict before?
(2) Is it possible to get someone who's so focused on proving that they are right and you are wrong to shift their goal, and if so, how?
(3) Is it possible to get someone who views a topic rigidly to open up for some breathing room, and if so, how?
(4) If you have been on the side of my friend, has anyone ever said something to you that got you to quit persisting with your goal of being right and having them admit they were wrong? What did they say to lead to this?
(5) Any ideas for how I could handle such conflicts better? Admitting to being wrong just isn't an option. Even if that person is right, the approach of trying to MAKE me wrong leads to a power struggle and I refuse out of principle. If I was wrong in what I did, I am far more likely to admit it on my own, and far less likely to if the person is trying to make me.
(6) Anything else of note for you reading this?