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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Dear IXTPs,

I love you deeply but I'm getting tired of a l l the arguing...! It's so exhausting! :ssad:

Any advice on how to increase my ability to argue for longer and not lose so much energy while arguing? My son loves to argue, about everything, but mostly about teachers. He argues with the math teacher and he's getting on her bad side. I agree with my son but this teacher will not hear it. So why keep fighting? Just use the super long strategy she wants, get the points and move on. She will not change her philosophy. He only has another 8 month with her. Play along, no?

With love,
INFP mom
 

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I think you have to use this opportunity to work on your own patience. There's probably nothing you can do to get him to change this behaviour right now, and I'm not sure that if you really thought about it, you really want to. ("Play along?" Really? That's what you want to teach him?)

I had a classics professor who, in my 18 year old brain, I thought was totally useless, and we went round and round about the Iliad. He hated my guts, he had a right to, and the feeling was pretty much mutual. Today, I not only wouldn't put so much effort into making sure the dude/class/world knew the truth about a 2,500+ year old poem, I have since considered that maybe he was right about a couple of things. (Wrong about a lot more, but who's counting? I am. :numbness: )

So yeah, your son is going to have a rocky road for a while before he develops his own measure, learned, in large part, at the school of hard knocks. He'll learn when to speak up, and when it's not worth it. So take your own advice and play along. Give him support when he needs it, and get off his back when he doesn't. It's hard to watch them fall on their faces, but you don't want to get in the way of their doing exactly that while they're still in a place where you can help them up after. Later on, you won't be, and that's not the time to finally learn these skills once the stakes are higher. It's just...growing up.
 

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Maybe tell him he's welcome to do whatever he wants, but he will live with the consequences.

Examples:

If he doesn't graduate from high school by age 18, he has to move out, or he has to pay for his own university education, or something. If he won't play the game, neither will you. He can argue with teachers later--like in grad school.

Or, if he flunks math (or anything) this year, he's on his own for the remainder of high school, e.g., you won't pay for any extracurricular stuff, he'll have to take the bus instead of you driving him to school, or whatever. (Or you could downsize this suggestion, e.g., if he flunks a test or has any serious problem with a teacher, you will apply the consequences for the rest of the school year).

Good luck,
Tough INTP mom who actually did this kind of thing
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
"Play along?" Really? That's what you want to teach him?
Sometimes you have to pick your battles. You can't fight for everything. In this case, he has more to lose than he can win. I don't mean to play along every time for everything. But this time, yes, why not?
 

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Sometimes you have to play by the rules otherwise it'll just end up screwing you over. Do you agree with your son because you actually know and understand what is going on when your son argues or are you just playing the role of the "supportive" mother.
 

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He just needs to learn how the world works.

That the people don't care for your silly "logic" and "reason", things are as they are because they are that way!
 

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Well, nothing is likely to work unless you explain him how vanity (and pride) is a key determinant of human behavior, that because of this humans link the value and rightness of whatever they do/say with their personal value, and that their (assumed) personal worth being what they care the most in life, there is no way either in the blazes of earth, and maybe heaven also their egos will recognize they are wrong, mend their error or erroneous view, thus growing into better, more wide-minded people.

They are puerile physically grown children who want to "win" and hate to "lose". this and only this is what arguments with them are about.
If you make them lose, you cause them suffering, and they'll react
1) filing you in their mind as bad
2) trying to cause you suffering, or trouble

To summarize: you have to explain to your son (or was it daughter) that there is no argument, elucidation, proof, logical process that can make somebody unable to mature and broaden their views do so -- and that the normal for a specimen of mankind is to be unable to do so.
With such people he can either

1) Use them to his advantage
2) Sidestep them and walk away as quickly and well as circumstances permit
3) Try to raise them to his level, inducing anger and resentment in them -- and causing no improvement whatsoever

Having him read on INTPs and how different they(we) are from others is sure not to do any harm, also.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Sometimes you have to play by the rules otherwise it'll just end up screwing you over. Do you agree with your son because you actually know and understand what is going on when your son argues or are you just playing the role of the "supportive" mother.
Oh yes, I completely agree with him and disagree with the teacher. Students shouldn't have to use only one strategy to solve math problems. They shouldn't have to spit out what the teacher wants. Kids should be encouraged to use critical thinking and develop their own algorithms.
 

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Have him join a debate team or hire someone to have these "discussions/arguing fits".

It sounds to me like he's just trying to think, so long as its not some superficial indulgence into a pain-body mindset. And with all due respect I can imagine a bleeding heart parent who loves their kid siding with them even if they don't fully empathize or understand. So I hope the way he is arguing is reasonable and fair on as many levels as possible.

But god forbid why would anyone not let him think? If anything were to hold him back it would be this.
 

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I empathise with your son, this was my experience too - but the others are spot on. Via the school of hard knocks you eventually learn to pragmatically pick your fights.

Like the stereotype INTP - I can't leave inaccuracy unchallenged and this has gotten me into trouble more than once in my youth. Eventually, you learn that many people react badly to unvarnished truth and comments that cut through social niceties to the reality.

It doesnt change your conviction outright, you just learn that you don't attain your goals or improve anything if you pick the wrong fights.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Have him join a debate team or hire someone to have these "discussions/arguing fits".

It sounds to me like he's just trying to think...this.
Yes! Exactly, thank you for putting words on his behavior! He is thinking/processing/arguing out loud, with feedback from (exhausted) me. :). I will remember that next time: he's just thinking. Thank you!!!

Join a debate team, love the idea, will get him to think about it. ;)
 

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Why doesn't he go to the head of the department or whoever else has the authority to talk to his math teacher and change her mind?
 

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You think he's argumentative now...just wait until he figures out the lesson isn't about math at all, that's the beard. The real lesson is about instilling compliance. This is done by design in order to better control the beta population.
 

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Dear IXTPs,

I love you deeply but I'm getting tired of a l l the arguing...! It's so exhausting! :ssad:

Any advice on how to increase my ability to argue for longer and not lose so much energy while arguing? My son loves to argue, about everything, but mostly about teachers. He argues with the math teacher and he's getting on her bad side. I agree with my son but this teacher will not hear it. So why keep fighting? Just use the super long strategy she wants, get the points and move on. She will not change her philosophy. He only has another 8 month with her. Play along, no?

With love,
INFP mom
Ah yes, the stubborn teacher. I got chewed out by a teacher once when trying to inform a Health teacher that ulcers are caused by bacteria, not just "stress." This is when I learned that it was pointless to get into an argument with a teacher. I had more problems throughout school with teachers and their rigidity...

I have no idea if this will work, but if I were in your place, I would point out that the teacher obviously isn't interested. He should be sensible and give it up to remain on the teacher's good side because she is the one with all the power. If he gets on her bad side, he may suffer bad consequences in how she grades his performance and he will generally make life harder for himself in an utterly pointless endeavor. What sense is there in that? Just do what she wants and get the class over with and use a good score to move on to better things. Of course, I'd let him know it's his life and he can do what he wants, but what he is doing is utterly irrational.
 

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Ah yes, the stubborn teacher. I got chewed out by a teacher once when trying to inform a Health teacher that ulcers are caused by bacteria, not just "stress." This is when I learned that it was pointless to get into an argument with a teacher. I had more problems throughout school with teachers and their rigidity...

I have no idea if this will work, but if I were in your place, I would point out that the teacher obviously isn't interested. He should be sensible and give it up to remain on the teacher's good side because she is the one with all the power. If he gets on her bad side, he may suffer bad consequences in how she grades his performance and he will generally make life harder for himself in an utterly pointless endeavor. What sense is there in that? Just do what she wants and get the class over with and use a good score to move on to better things. Of course, I'd let him know it's his life and he can do what he wants, but what he is doing is utterly irrational.


It's a choice, but I don't think you can say definitively it's an irrational one. Let me give you an example:

I saw a comedian yesterday who said to imagine you could get several million dollars by having sex with someone utterly reprehensible and disgusting to you. So later, you're swimming in your gorgeous swimming pool with all your fancy friends, and one of them asks you, "so what did you do to get all of this money, anyway?" Suddenly the pool isn't so refreshing, and everything around you recedes into the background of what you have to live with about yourself. The impact this will have on your enjoyment of the swimming pool will vary depending on the individual, but knowing your ethical limits therin and planning for them is a rational act.

Each and every time we compromise ourselves, we make this negotiation. At what price will we sell ourselves? For money? For a good grade? For a promotion? The point isn't to convince the teacher, the point is to speak the truth as you know it. If you're willing to sell what comes out of your mouth (or what buys your silence), for whatever price...I'm reminded of the famous story often attributed (apparently wrongly) to Winston Churchill, but was apparently a newspaper anecdote:

“They are telling this of Lord Beaverbrook and a visiting Yankee actress. In a game of hypothetical questions, Beaverbrook asked the lady: ‘Would you live with a stranger if he paid you one million pounds?’ She said she would. ‘And if be paid you five pounds?’ The irate lady fumed: ‘Five pounds. What do you think I am?’ Beaverbrook replied: ‘We’ve already established that. Now we are trying to determine the degree.”

So it's completely rational (ethically, in this case) both to set your price, and also to say you will always strive not to be bought by any means.
 

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Ah yes, the stubborn teacher. I got chewed out by a teacher once when trying to inform a Health teacher that ulcers are caused by bacteria, not just "stress." This is when I learned that it was pointless to get into an argument with a teacher. I had more problems throughout school with teachers and their rigidity...

I have no idea if this will work, but if I were in your place, I would point out that the teacher obviously isn't interested. He should be sensible and give it up to remain on the teacher's good side because she is the one with all the power. If he gets on her bad side, he may suffer bad consequences in how she grades his performance and he will generally make life harder for himself in an utterly pointless endeavor. What sense is there in that? Just do what she wants and get the class over with and use a good score to move on to better things. Of course, I'd let him know it's his life and he can do what he wants, but what he is doing is utterly irrational.


It's a choice, but I don't think you can say definitively it's an irrational one. Let me give you an example:

I saw a comedian yesterday who said to imagine you could get several million dollars by having sex with someone utterly reprehensible and disgusting to you. So later, you're swimming in your gorgeous swimming pool with all your fancy friends, and one of them asks you, "so what did you do to get all of this money, anyway?" Suddenly the pool isn't so refreshing, and everything around you recedes into the background of what you have to live with about yourself. The impact this will have on your enjoyment of the swimming pool will vary depending on the individual, but knowing your ethical limits therin and planning for them is a rational act.

Each and every time we compromise ourselves, we make this negotiation. At what price will we sell ourselves? For money? For a good grade? For a promotion? The point isn't to convince the teacher, the point is to speak the truth as you know it. If you're willing to sell what comes out of your mouth (or what buys your silence), for whatever price...I'm reminded of the famous story often attributed (apparently wrongly) to Winston Churchill, but was apparently a newspaper anecdote:

?They are telling this of Lord Beaverbrook and a visiting Yankee actress. In a game of hypothetical questions, Beaverbrook asked the lady: ?Would you live with a stranger if he paid you one million pounds?? She said she would. ?And if be paid you five pounds?? The irate lady fumed: ?Five pounds. What do you think I am?? Beaverbrook replied: ?We?ve already established that. Now we are trying to determine the degree.?

So it's completely rational (ethically, in this case) both to set your price, and also to say you will always strive not to be bought by any means.
I like the point your making, it's how I felt for a long time actually.

It was early adulthood where I realised that it's better to claim some small victories by compromise than remain stubbornly tied to my beliefs and lose all the fights.

I agree in principle with your point but in this scenario the student has no power. If you don't have power or security of position and no realistically feasible way to address the imbalance in power - then it's often wise in daily life to just shut up and accept that you may win the point but you'll lose the argument.

The exception here is of course standing up to tyranny.

But for day to day stuff, points of trivia and whatever - I will always state my case reasonably and if that doesn't work and I'm not calling the shots, then I've done what I can without harming my own interests.

To use your analogy, I set my price.
 
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