What Do You Do About Your Friend That Argues With Everything You Say?

Categories: Advice

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You know, Mr. or Ms. Contrarian.

The kind of person who, if you say, "The sky is blue," will screech, "No, it's red!" and vice versa.

This type just loves to pick a fight over semantics, turning every casual conversation into a presidential debate by contradicting every word out of your mouth -- even your opinions!

I have a friend who will look for any imaginable reason to disagree, just for the fun of provoking me, putting me on edge, and trying to "win."

If I say a certain star is fat, he'll say, "No, he isn't."

When I described a certain actor as a "semi-name," he started bellowing that he was actually a big name because he had been on Broadway and was on a Murder, She Wrote!

When I said a certain show was exploitive, he started arguing that it wasn't -- and he hadn't even seen it!

When I mentioned that a lot of actors come out as a result of wanting to stop bullying, hate crimes, and suicides, he insisted that wasn't the case, even though I started naming instances of actors who've openly given those as their reasons!

And when I mentioned a 60-year-old actor who bizarrely wanted to play a 20-year-old, he started carrying on that the role is actually 23 years old -- as if that would make a difference! And it's not true anyway!

Invariably, I start arguing back, furious that he's turned a chatty conversation into a horrid experience where I'm on the defensive and having to talk my way out of a trivial corner of his own making.

I find myself choosing my words really carefully, but that doesn't work at all.

If I had said that actor was a little chunky, he would have surely shrieked, "Please! He's fat!"

If I had said that other actor was a name, he would have said, "No, he isn't! Just doing Broadway and one Murder, She Wrote doesn't make you a name!"

He just likes to say the opposite. ("No, I don't," I can hear him saying.)

The other day, I slammed down the phone on him, unable to take any more wearing down of my ego.

He called back the next day and left a message as if nothing happened.

What do I do now?



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18 comments
candy
candy

Hes probably unhappy, i have a friend like this, who will disagree and put down everything i say, just yesterday I mentioned how our mutual friend is a doctor now, no reply, then he says so did she have kids yet with her husband? i say no, he says the kids will be deformed because shes in her late 30s already and waited too long. I knew he was jealous so I just said absolutly nothing. Our other mutual friend just published his first novel- bio of a famous musician. I am about to tell him and waiting for him to put him down as well. :)

John Andrew Simone
John Andrew Simone

Oh, and the photo? Looks like Mick Jagger and the Disco Queen of Canada, Margaret Trudeau outside of Studio 54, right after Mick told Maggie he dropped the coke in the toilet.

John Andrew Simone
John Andrew Simone

Hello? He probably hates you because you are smart, witty, and cute, and perhaps he's the contrar-ian opposite?So often the people you meet, are not friends, don't want to be friends, they simply want to turn everything into a battle. I have literally said to many friends, bluntly and with all the love I can muster, "This isn't a contest, I'm not trying to trump you, I'm just trying to a have a freaking conversation. Is that too much to ask?" I refuse to spend energy fighting unnecessary battles.

Movielover
Movielover

This is a "friend?"  Sounds like a complete asshole! 

Ynnocence
Ynnocence

Worst is when you have to work with them, which means you've got no choice except put up with it. But with friends of that sort, I'd treat them just like I treated my siblings (I was eldest in a big brood). At the contrarian stage - which they're supposed to outgrow, but obviously some don't - I just tell them the exact opposite of what I want them to do, then give them the satisfaction of thinking they got the better of me. That way they get what they think they want, and I get what I'm sure I want, which of course is the better deal.

Musto
Musto

Well, he's brilliant and a longtime friend (who doesn't usually read my blog, so I don't feel I'm offending him) and there was just that arguing problem. But now that I've laid down the law about it, things have been better, so I'm keeping him.

timmmyk
timmmyk

Kill 'em. No one will ever miss those contrary cusses.

Stevepub123
Stevepub123

Why is this person your friend? If this person causes you more stress than joy and contradicts everything you say just for the joy of getting a relation out of you, why do you keep this person in your life? That's what family if for. Life is too short to surround yourself with people like that.

Romanhans
Romanhans

We know you don't really have a friend like that.

latenitebump
latenitebump

i know 2 people like that. one i got rid of for sanity´s sake. gay alcoholic (but don´t tell him that). the other, my best friend.

like lucy and ethel said: it´s friendship, friendshipthe just perfect blendship

whatcha´gonna do? i could never give up my best friend. love him dearly.

Geraldine Winifred Visco
Geraldine Winifred Visco

Michael, darling, you don't need a friend like this. They are reliving their dysfunctional past through you. I used to waste my time with these sorts of friends but I've replaced them with NICE people who like ME and we don't waste time arguing about nothing.  Keep the friend as an acquaintance but don't waste your time on them.

Vin
Vin

Date him - he's obviously got the hots for you 

Wings
Wings

Only talk in multiple choices: "The actor is fat or maybe chunky or maybe not fat at all..."

Ickabod
Ickabod

I have a friend just like this and the best thing to do is just say "Shut up" whenever they argue. If you bully back a bullier, they acquiesce.

latenitebump
latenitebump

doesn´t even read my blog. funny. called back as if nothing happened. funnier.and if he really is your friend then you should keep him.good for you.

bitchtrollfromhell
bitchtrollfromhell

Good for you Michael.  I have a co-worker like that and a disagreement about the weather (ridiculous) one morning caused me to explode back at her and I let her know that she always disagreed with everything I said.  I eventually called her an idiot then got all paranoid I'd be fired.  So I called my mom, and she advised me to apologize the next morning which I did and now all's well with this person!

Stevepub123
Stevepub123

Sorry, "reaction" stupid autocorrect.

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