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  1. #1
    Iron Maiden fidelia's Avatar
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    Default How do you react to unresolved conflict?

    Does unresolved conflict bother you? If so, how do you deal with it? Do you think SJs would handle it similarly as a whole or slightly differently depending on which of the four types they are?

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    I don't like it.

    Depending on the severity and nature of the conflict, and the subject of course, it will bother me / cause me anxiety until it is resolved. I will usually try and think of ways to resolve it, and it will be one of the things on my mind constantly if the nature of the conflict is important to me. Also, I consciously try and resolve the conflict before an event occurs where I will have to wait to resolve it (ex: if in conflict with a person at work for example [not that I get in conflicts at work :P], I will try resolving it before leaving for the day).

    Boo conflict.

  3. #3
    That chalkboard guy Matthew_Z's Avatar
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    As an ISTJ semi-perfectionist, I am bothered when a job isn't finished. For me, this usually ends up being the stress that says "Find a solution, Matthew." To deal with it, I plan out what my strategy shall be to deal with this unresolved conflict. After I've figured out the most logical way to resolve the conflict (and put in a bit of effort to make sure this plan can work), my stress level goes back to within normal constraints.

    If, for some reason, I can't think of a solution I go into the mode you NEVER want to see an ISTJ in. I experience a fair deal of paranoia and start imagining all of things that could ever go wrong. "No Way Out" syndrome, I suppose.
    If a deaf INFP falls in the forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?

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    Iron Maiden fidelia's Avatar
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    Interesting. The ISTJ and ESTJ whom I have been close to are bothered by it but they seem to use avoidance as a way of dealing when confronted by it. I wondered if this is a T thing, or an SJ thing or neither at all.

    Matthew Z, what kinds of things do you become paranoid about or imagine could go wrong?

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    Senior Member MonkeyGrass's Avatar
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    If the relationship is worth it to me, I just go the most direct route. "Hey, I know we've had some tension in this area...shall we agree to disagree?" Leaving tension hanging is much more stressful to me than biting the bullet and addressing it. If the other party tells me to go play in traffic after I've tried to make amends for anything I've done, it's on them, not me. Assuming that my end of the conflict wasn't deplorable, anyone who wants to continue to bear grudges after an apology isn't really worth my effort anyway (and I mean that in the most pragmatic way possible, not in a sour grapes way...if they come back later, I'm happy to make nice. :O)

  6. #6
    That chalkboard guy Matthew_Z's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fidelia View Post
    Interesting. The ISTJ and ESTJ whom I have been close to are bothered by it but they seem to use avoidance as a way of dealing when confronted by it. I wondered if this is a T thing, or an SJ thing or neither at all.

    Matthew Z, what kinds of things do you become paranoid about or imagine could go wrong?
    The paranoia usually manifests itself throughout all general areas of my life. I'll be a little more jumpy when I see action out of my peripheral vision and such. However, it's much more concentrated in the area of person-to-person relationships. Ideas such as "What if every person I've ever met has the same issue with me but they're only pretending it doesn't exist?" pop up and my ability to reason that these ideas are false is significantly inhibited.

    If you ask me, the avoidance technique is a way of dealing with what I've described as paranoia, not with unresolved conflict. If the conflict got bad enough that we couldn't figure it out and had to withdraw from the situation, it's quite likely that we wont figure out a solution afterward. It's my hypothesis that your ISTJ and ESTJ friends handle the situation the same way I do, but by the time you find out about the situation they've already gotten to the point of the paranoia onset.
    If a deaf INFP falls in the forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?

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    Senior Member NewEra's Avatar
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    If it's between two people I really care about greatly, I would be bothered by unresolved conflict. This applies to a select few people. If it were me and another person conflicting, I would be slightly bothered by it but of course it depends on the situation. If it's between people I sort of care about but not as much, then it would not bother me at all.

  8. #8
    Iron Maiden fidelia's Avatar
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    Matthew Z - what puts you into a situation where you can't think up a solution?

    And is it the tension between you and someone very dear to you, or is it just a job left unfinished that bothers you when there's been a problem?

    After you hit paranoia, are those thoughts ongoing, or do they wear off? Do you mostly give the particular situation at the time up as being a lost cause?

    I've seen several situations between my ISTJ dad and I or he and my INFJ mum where he has everything in the world to gain, and nothing to lose by addressing the problem. I think though that unless he has already decided on a workable solution, he gives it up as an impossible thing to fix. In both of our cases, it has done great damage to our relationship and I think it makes him feel isolated. I don't do well without having things fixed up, but can't do it alone. Does any of this sound familiar or recognizable and if so, what is the way for the other party to approach the SJ successfully without inducing paranoia?

  9. #9
    Senior Member Amira's Avatar
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    Hmm, if it's conflict between two other people that I care about, I will try to do my best to tactfully help make peace, but I generally wouldn't stay awake at night about it. Any conflict between me and another person tends to bother me somewhat, even when it shouldn't, but if there is anything at all I can blame on myself it really, really, really rankles. Usually there is something that I can blame on myself so I hate conflict. I don't consider it conflict if, for example, I know someone I work with is having a really bad day and they try to pick a fight with me or something for no reason but their own emotions - in cases like that I just think, whatever, and make a wide berth around them 'till they calm down. I suppose if someone just had a weird misunderstanding about me or hated a viewpoint of mine they would either avoid me or I would address it directly once I figured out a good way to approach it.

    To approach an ISTJ about a conflict without overloading our puny emotional circuits - the best way for me is to be brief, to the point, and pretty calm about it. Don't go by my stone face - If I can see your point then I'm already beating myself up and you don't need to. Just say it and leave as soon as you come to some sort of conclusion/agreement. I may be more sensitive to disapproval than the guy ISTJs, I don't know, but I really hate doing something wrong and that makes me try hard to fix something once it's pointed out and I can't stand it when people try to make me show on my face how upset I am and sorry and how I'll definitely change!!! Yikes...

    I will agree about the paranoia/avoidance thing in that if I've tried and couldn't fix something or I feel like the person still holds a palpable grudge, I will try to avoid them, which I know isn't really healthy and I am working on that and being a bit more assertive.
    Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle. ~Plato

  10. #10
    That chalkboard guy Matthew_Z's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fidelia View Post
    Matthew Z - what puts you into a situation where you can't think up a solution?

    And is it the tension between you and someone very dear to you, or is it just a job left unfinished that bothers you when there's been a problem?

    After you hit paranoia, are those thoughts ongoing, or do they wear off? Do you mostly give the particular situation at the time up as being a lost cause?

    I've seen several situations between my ISTJ dad and I or he and my INFJ mum where he has everything in the world to gain, and nothing to lose by addressing the problem. I think though that unless he has already decided on a workable solution, he gives it up as an impossible thing to fix. In both of our cases, it has done great damage to our relationship and I think it makes him feel isolated. I don't do well without having things fixed up, but can't do it alone. Does any of this sound familiar or recognizable and if so, what is the way for the other party to approach the SJ successfully without inducing paranoia?
    You remind me of my therapist.

    As an ISTJ, I always at least think I have a solution. When all of my solutions have failed to solve the problem and I'm out of new ideas to try, that's when I've hit no-solution mode.

    It's both, really. However, I consider resolving conflicts with those I care about to be my social job, if you will. SJs and their sense of duty, I suppose. I don't really draw a line between work and play/relationships.

    The thoughts are usually ongoing. If there's one thing I am, it's persistent. After not being able to solve the problem myself, I'll usually turn to a confidant(e). If the two of us collectively figure out a solution, I'll try that, or prepare to try it. At that point, I usually find myself relieved. If this method fails, I'll take the "flight" option in response to stress, usually allowing the problem to resolve itself. I'll probably not talk to the person, they'll not talk to me, and we'll more or less go on with a small bit of tolerance of the other's existence, but not much more. Until things are resolved, I'll probably seem pretty withdrawn from the world and look at things with intense cynicism.

    The way to approach me is pretty much what Amira described. Being calm and brief is very important. Once I know what I've done wrong, don't bring it up again. I've already been kicking myself over it. In my case, and I'm sure the other ISTJs can relate, I'm VERY willing to resolve a conflict, even if I'm not showing it. Not showing it is a sign that I'm going to back to my normal volition. That LAST thing to do to an upset ISTJ is to try to make the show it. If you bring me to tears, you've REALLY screwed up.
    If a deaf INFP falls in the forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?

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