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Frame Battle

A frame battle is the term given to when two people have frames that are in opposition. Usually, a frame battle will continue with each side trying to persuade the other one, until one eventually prevails.

You usually see frame battles in situations where opposing people are both very sure of their respective realities. Each one is trying to impose their reality on the other person:

  • If a boss is trying to command an employee but they have no respect for the boss, this will originate a frame battle;
    • The boss will be trying to impose the frame they are the leader and the employee must do what they want;
    • The employee will be trying to impose the frame the boss doesn’t know what they’re doing;
  • In a sales situation, with confident buyers, this also happens frequently:
    • The salesperson is trying to impose the frame the buyer needs this and it’s valuable;
    • The buyer is trying to impose the frame they don’t need this and the salesperson is bothering them;

Frame battles are usually binary. Whoever has the strongest sense of self and confidence imposes their frame on the other person.