How To Deal With Uncompromising Right-Fighters

This morning over breakfast, Chris and I were talking about past experiences with uncompromising people in positions of power.

He told me about the time he was working in a retail camera store ~ a lady came in and asked for help with a self-serve machine. The store was empty and there were 3 other people behind the counter. As he was helping the lady, his manager came over and told him to get back behind the counter and “busy himself” there. Chris asserted that the lady needed help and that there were 3 other people available to serve anyone who walked in. The manager walked off in a huff and Chris continued to help the customer who wound up spending about $200 because of the help he gave her. Amazingly, Chris got written up for insubordination.

What prompted this post is that I have often had issues with people who: 1/ are interested only in what they want; 2/ defy all logic to exploit their position of power; and 3/ are insufferable right-fighters who refuse to see other perspectives. Chris’s manager saw his title as a mask of self-importance and falsely inflated intelligence. “I am the manager and I’m only here to tell YOU what to do, you lowly peasant because I know best.” The problem is, his judgment proved otherwise and, further, that he didn’t give a hoot about the company he worked for. He blatantly displayed his lack of understanding of good customer service which is every company’s friend. If he had an iota of sense, he would have looked past his own ego and recognized that Chris was promoting the business by sending his customer away happy.

I’ve experienced such a dynamic in personal relationships. My father was a closed-minded person and his “black or white” thinking drove me crazy. A couple of my exes were self-important right-fighters who didn’t care about logic or what was important to me. For them, being “wrong” was never a possibility. The hope of having a productive conversation with such people is a futile exercise. How do you respond to someone who says, “If you’re not happy, there’s the door”? How do you deal with someone who would rather hang up on you than listen to anything you have to say? How do you have a healthy relationship with someone who doesn’t acknowledge the pain they’ve caused and laughs at you when you walk away in frustration?

It’s this sort of inflexible conduct in a relationship ~ professional or personal ~  that affects the relationship’s overall dynamic. It’s when people refuse to admit that they’re ever wrong that causes problems and resentment. While the feeling {illusion?} of “being right” may make such a person feel powerful and important, it comes at an often great expense for the others involved. One person’s “victory” means someone had to be defeated. When “being right” becomes a chronic, unyielding need, other people often give up out of frustration; after all, what’s the point of talking to someone who never budges on anything? Why spend time reasoning with someone who shows zero consideration for the thoughts, feelings, opinions or ideas of others?

How do we handle communicating with such a person?

  • Be concise. As a general rule, you don’t usually get much “airtime”.
  • Know {and stand firm in} your position.
  • Talk only if and when s/he is willing to listen to you.
  • Talk only if the conversation stays civil.
  • End the conversation if s/he interrupts or talks over you.
  • End the conversation if s/he starts yelling, name calling or resorting to otherwise abusive tactics.
  • When someone in a position of power forces you to make a tough decision, always choose the option you {and your conscience} can comfortably live with.
  • Don’t allow deflection tactics. “We’re not talking about {that} now. We can come back to {that} after we’ve done talking about {this}.”
  • Don’t allow gaslighting. You know what you’ve said. You know what s/he’s said. If s/he’s making you question anything, including your sanity, remove yourself from the situation.
  • Know when to stop. If you’ve made and explained all your points and s/he’s still arguing, you’ve reached a brick wall you can’t climb or tear down.

“From a worldly point of view, there is no mistake so great as that of always being right.” ~ Samuel Butler

If you recognize yourself in this post, you are in a toxic relationship. It doesn’t matter if the relationship is romantic, familial, platonic or professional. If you think you may be in an abusive relationship, please visit Café Sanctuary for more information and posts I’ve written about my experiences. If you have an experience to share, please feel free.

Take care and God Bless. ❤



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