At any point of your life, you must have encountered a time when you need to argue or defend things that one believes. It is a good and normal thing to do and in fact, it is considered to be healthy as well. Personally, I enjoy being challenged and to challenge someone where it got me to clarify, think better, and gain different perspectives from others. I always remember what my boss said to never consider yourself as the average consumer by means you must consider multiple angles or perspectives before narrowing it down.
And although I love being challenged and getting myself in an argument, I always feel there are two types of arguments. The argument that people share to exchange thoughts and to gain different perspectives in other words a debate or what my boss likes to call as “Playing the devil’s advocate”, it actually gives you a chance to clarify your thought process, think deeper, and most of the times, you can get better views or ideas.
The other argument is an argument by someone who just loves to argue no matter what. Typically, these types of people when they argue, they only have one goal in their mind “TO WIN AN ARGUMENT” so no matter how hard you try to clarify, based on what they believe, they’re always right. However, we always know that “There are always two sides to every story”.
Maybe you’ll think that I’m just judging people without any basis because I know that sometimes it’s hard to distinguish between curious/critical people and someone who just love to argue so sharing with you the top 3 characteristics:
- Both curious/critical people and someone who loves to argue will ask you a series of questions that sometimes you’ll find uncomfortable. And the main difference between the two is that for someone who loves to argue, it doesn’t matter what the topics are, they’ll never accept what others are thinking or even considering other’s views – in their mind, they always think that they are right all the time.
- Acceptance, as a human, it’s normal when we make a mistake and it’s okay to make mistakes but not in the mind of someone who loves to argue. They will never stop arguing until they’re right no matter how wrong they are because these people never truly accept when they are wrong.
- And how they’re going to make sure that you are wrong, in their mind, other people are always the source of an argument, not them and no matter how many times you try to clarify, they can come up with heaps of reasons why you, and not they, are the ones that are wrong.
Sounds really annoying? Before we jump to the solution on how to deal with them, let’s take a look at why these people, in this modern 21st century, still think like they are stuck in the 1800s? I always think even my grandparents for sure are far more open minded, however, who am I to judge? I did a couple of research by asking people around me why do people do this and here are the top 5 reasons why:
- As part of personal self-defense
- To get the attention of someone
- To seek power and control over others
- To get respect from others
- Narcissistic – Always feel and believe that they are far more superior than others and therefore they consider most people not as knowledgeable as they are.
When we think about it we realize that actually they are the crazy ones and the one who walks away from that argument is the smart one. And I know we’ve been thought to face any problems and never walk away cause only losers walk away but in this case, you realized that even after you clarify with them explaining everything but in the end, they still don’t get it and keep on insisting that you are wrong then there’s no point to argue, you just tiring yourself out.
And don’t worry, you’re here not to directly walk away and be a loser, you’re here to be smart in dealing with these types of people or in other words “How to annoy them” and make sure that you’ll never be trapped in their shoes (scary you don’t want to be like them):
- Don’t try to argue
What is their goal? To argue with you obviously so after your clarification and they still try to argue with you, just stop. Leave them, it’s seriously the best way to annoy them cause it means they’re not getting your attention anymore cause you realized that their arguments are not smart.
- Act bored
Seriously it helps, I’ve been there, and acting bored or not interested in the conversation (which sometimes will come out naturally from me) will give them the sense (remember they are human too who wants to be heard)
- Agree without agreeing
If you don’t want to be considered rude by leaving a conversation or act bored and still want to banter with them, I won’t stop you but make sure to end it with agreeing without agreeing. What I mean is that by saying something like “Yeah maybe you believe that, it’s okay but this is what I believe”. People can have different opinions, right?
- Stay calm and don’t get provoked
Whichever way you do, the most important part is to stay calm and don’t get provoked by them. By being angry or provoked by them they’ve won because that’s what they want to provoke you.
Or, as they say in Chinese: “What do you do when you bump into a total idiot? Agree with everything they say, and make them a bigger idiot.”