Monday, February 18, 2008

How do you deal with a "right fighter"?

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Jen said...

That's a tough one. Can you do the old, I see how you can think that, way of agreeing without agreeing

(Says she who hates conflict)

Andrea said...

I think this person needs to compromise too. He certainly can't expect the world to always care as much about the things he cares about as he does.

I usually get pretty worked up over rights issues, but I do try to recognize that it's not other people's thing. It's my thing, and they have their thing, and I need to let them back off and be themselves. I don't always succeed at this, but I try.

What would happen if you frothed at the mouth for a week or two about issues you care about and he doesn't?

Or can you use the old "I express my values adn politics in other ways, including x y z" (where that might be donations or writing something or whatever).

Or "I can see how much you care about these issues, and while I admire and respect that, and respect you, this is just not where I choose to put my energy these days adn I find these conversations a bit draining. Can we take a few days off?"

Good luck.

I certainly don't think it's your job to do all of hte adapting, though.

Miche said...

Jen: I'm going to try some fancy footwork in that theme. I also hate conflict.

Andrea: What a lovely place this would be if we could make other people see their need to compromise!

Sadly, this person is far past the stage in his life when suggested "changes" are likely to occur. He's lived his life and raised his family and is extremely happy with who he is.

On the occasions where I do froth, Mr. X is more than happy to get all worked up in "support." (And will often get more excited about the event than I am.)

If the situations were about values and politics I might be less fatigued about the matter. But after the 10th iteration about "how that moron can't park straight in the parking lot," or "how the cleaning service doesn't do things the way he does" and I just have nothing to add.

I'll take your good luck though. I need it!

Marla said...

I've been thinking of this for a bit now, being a bit of a right-fighter in my marital relationship, but notsomuch everywhere else BECAUSE

I have a mantra that I repeat to myself:

"I do not let how others are be the measure of the person I want to be".

So, with other right fighters, I am just, sometimes barely, but always just polite. That's all. I change subjects, I excuse myself - but I realize I can't change that person, only the way I deal with it. So, if in my head, I feel good about what I'm doing, I can get over the frustration better. In matters say, as you described - the trivial things that are extra wearing, I'll often say brightly "You must be so tired of talking about it now!" and change the subject.

(Why yes, I am talking about my mother!)

Miche said...

Marla: good advice which I'll take for a spin. Hey, as a right-fighter, perhaps I should book some time with you and practice some of these technicques? ;)