Blowups and conflict

[From Bill Powers (931203.1110 MST)]

Hal Pepinsky (931203) --

I've noticed, too, that when someone who is arguing with you gets
very angry or extreme, the next thing that's likely to happen is
agreement, or at least a change in the mode of discussion.

I'd explain this (sort of) as a sign of reorganization. Before
the eruption, the person is in conflict, wanting to take some
forceful action but holding back for some other reason (like not
wanting to appear emotional). The eruption says that the conflict
has been resolved -- something has changed in there, allowing the
person to express the strong emotion. Then, as you say, the
person is more in control and (often) more inclined to be able to
see things from another level (i.e., agree with me).

I do the same thing when on the receiving end, but of course I
never notice it at the time.

I know in criminology at least a burst of temper or defiance is

defined as a threat to the control of many of us. As I

understand you, PCT leads you to believe you ought to give it

PCT doesn't say you "ought" to do anything. It just tries to put
what you do into a framework of understanding, as above. It shows
us why conflict is crippling, but it doesn't say you shouldn't be
crippled if that's what you want.

My interpretation of the situation you describe is that the
person you're talking to is already in internal conflict, which
is what keeps the person from blowing up in your face (or simply
cooperating) the moment you make your request. Being in conflict
makes the person less able to interact skillfully with you,
either for you or against you. An unconflicted person who has no
intention of cooperating with you will simply not cooperate, and
your persistence won't make a dent. I'm sure you have met that
response too.



Bill P.