Please or Register to create posts and topics.

Difference between justifying and frame refusal?

Hello guys,

here is something that happened today.

I was checking how many people are allowed in a bakery. Another customer (early morning drunk guy) said in a passive-aggressive comment: “Another worrier!”. As if I was worrying about the virus (I’m vaccinated). I said:

“No, I’m not worried. Just trying to follow the rules.”
And smiled to the cashier as if saying “who’s this guy anyway?”

I understand I could have had a more assertive answer such as:

“No, I’m not worried. I’m following the rules.”

My question is: what is the difference between justifying oneself (weak) and refusing a frame (J. Peterson vs Catie)?

Is it because of the phrasing as I said above? The intention? The power dynamics?



Matthew Whitewood and selffriend have reacted to this post.
Matthew Whitewoodselffriend

I think even the  "No, I'm not worried" is defensive and already accepting of their frame. Like you say in your post, refusing their frame is simply more powerful. Even though you weren't worried.

This person, to me, is assuming a judge role and also being subtly rude. Some good options to fight the judge role and to maintain frame control:

  1. Ignore and non-verbals: (This could be difficult and possibly appear weak in that you are afraid to address concern perhaps? Maybe with body language and presence this could work.
  2. Put the "issue" back on them. Say something like. "You seem pretty upset I'm trying to follow the rules"
  3. Use humor: "I'm actually terrified, I forgot my hazmat suit at home"  Sarcastically. This might also be an agree and amplify.
  4. Flip the frame: "Any my worrying has kept me Covid free" with a chuckle. This is also owning the accusation.
  5. Frame mirroring: "Another optimist!" (Maybe could find a better word)
  6. Shame their frame: "Yes, because I want to keep others, just like yourself safe. Its good if we don't take chances and all stay healthy" Judge vs Judge frame.
  7. Undermine their authority "Any chance you're a virologist who can tell my why I shouldn't be worried?"

If you felt they were being subtly rude, a remark like "Typical" quickly highlights their covert aggression. As the subtly rude article also suggests, you could try to dominate socially by going over, putting a hand on the should and saying something like "It's okay. We're all going to get through this and be shoulder to shoulder back in shops in no time" (Bold, but probably not smart with drunk guy or Covid times... would also definitely show you're not that worried)

What do you think? I'm definitely still learning but like to try an apply these techniques to real life interactions to improve. Even if it is after the fact.

Transitioned has reacted to this post.