How To Argue With A Mate
Part 3: Idealist Mates
By Dr. Lovegood
The wall between Idealists and others is the Idealist's values. The values which are
critical vary from Idealist to Idealist. It is essential to find out what their core
values are and either work with them or around them if possible. Taking an Idealist
head-on on one of their most cherished values is a fast way to a pointless argument, not
to mention stupid.
Overall, Idealists tend to be warm, accepting, compassionate, and kind. They want to
get along with everyone and accept everyone's differences. They celebrate uniqueness.
However, if you find yourself violating one of their core values, that soft marshmallowy
exterior gives way to granite instantaneously. In the area of their values, Idealists can
be as arrogant as Rationals and as inflexible and intolerant as Guardians and as defiantly
resistant as Artisans at their worst.
If you find yourself suddenly hitting a land mine when talking to your Idealist mate,
often the best tactic is to back off and ask them to tell you what they believe. Simply
listen. Agree when you can and remain silent when you don't. After you have a good handle
on what they believe, you can show how what you believe matches. Emphasize every area of
agreement before approaching any differences.
Cameron (Idealist Healer INFP) and Noriko (Guardian Protector ISFJ) had talked about
having a baby, but Cameron kept saying he wasn't ready. They were watching a program about
elementary age kids failing in school when Noriko said that parents who couldn't make the
commitment to make sure their kids did their homework shouldn't be parents. Cameron erupted,
saying that there are more important things in life than homework, catching Noriko totally
off guard. At first, Noriko defended herself, saying that parents are responsible for
their children's education. After they calmed down, he began to talk about how his dad
had been a drill sergeant, making everyone miserable over homework. He then went on to
say that he didn't know how to be a dad because he didn't have a good role model. After
many discussions, they discovered that their views on homework, free time, and many other
parenting issues are probably quite similar. Cameron took a closer look at their friends
and family members and found a dad who's a lot like himself. He's started asking him about
different parenting situations.
Idealists often need more time than other temperaments to express their beliefs. They
are likely to go over what they believe repeatedly with slight variations and adding new
information until they have gotten in every essential point and until their partner has
shown that they comprehend what they've said.
The best way to get around the wall for Idealists is to listen carefully, sum up
accurately, and emphasize what the two of you have in common. Once the Idealist believes
that they have been heard and understood and mostly agreed with, they are generally
willing to discuss some differences. If you disagree too much for their comfort,
making them fearful that the relationship is in jeopardy, most Idealists will revert
to repeating their arguments over and over.