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Thread: Social interactions and difficult people with argumentative ideas.

  1. #1
    Cyburbian michaelskis's avatar
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    Social interactions and difficult people with argumentative ideas.

    In almost any subject we know people that will argue their point to the death, and based on particular topics I think that we are all guilty of it from time to time.

    But then there are those people who will go out of their way to transform any subject into a debate on the topic that they feel most passionately about. These people are extraordinary difficult do interact with and will often hamper if not destroy the conversation as they continue to derail the conversation with their continuous arguing. They tend to jump into conversations that have a primary topic that is no way related to their principle opinion or theory, however they will find ‘trigger words’ that they will use as a battering ram to break down the door and manipulate the conversation into a full blown argument.

    I think that we all know a person or people like this. How would you suggest dealing with these people in the least confrontational way possible?
    Not my monkey, not my circus. - Old Polish Proverb

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    Cyburbian DetroitPlanner's avatar
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    I have no idea what you are talking about.

    Transit? In Michigan??
    We hope for better things; it will arise from the ashes - Fr Gabriel Richard 1805

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    Cyburbian hilldweller's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by michaelskis View post
    In almost any subject we know people that will argue their point to the death, and based on particular topics I think that we are all guilty of it from time to time.

    But then there are those people who will go out of their way to transform any subject into a debate on the topic that they feel most passionately about. These people are extraordinary difficult do interact with and will often hamper if not destroy the conversation as they continue to derail the conversation with their continuous arguing. They tend to jump into conversations that have a primary topic that is no way related to their principle opinion or theory, however they will find ‘trigger words’ that they will use as a battering ram to break down the door and manipulate the conversation into a full blown argument.

    I think that we all know a person or people like this. How would you suggest dealing with these people in the least confrontational way possible?
    These type of people are often very poor at constructing logical arguments. In some ways their agressive stances are used to mask what are serious flaws in their reasoning ability. My experience has been that the only way to deal with people of these sort is to constantly call them out on their false claims and biases. Ask them how what they are saying is relevant to the point at hand particularly. These people are afraid of people standing up to them so you have to really hammer them unmercilessly

  4. #4
    Cyburbian wahday's avatar
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    My strategy with folks like these is a classic rhetorical judo move (though it doesn't always work). First, find a way to compliment them or otherwise acknowledge that they have strong knowledge about something (even if you think they are full of it). Then, pull them into proposing a solution to the problem you are addressing - try to get them to be fighting on your side. If their ideas are ridiculous, you don't need to use them, but at least they are no longer acting as a roadblock. Then I go home and drink lots of beer...

    I like the old "I'm sure you know more about this than I do, so maybe you can help me..." line. To redirect the unrelated rant/argument, try the "well, clearly you know alot about this subject. Do you think you can help me find a solution to this problem?..." Stroke the ego, then ask for help (even if the "help" is useless).

    My big agenda in this regard lately has been identifying people I can work with who are able to keep their eyes on the prize and creatively find a way to do the right thing. Too ofte, people find a million and one excuses why something CAN'T happen. But when people see "oh, this is clearly the right thing to do, how can we move through the system to make it happen," that is an exciting moment.
    The purpose of life is a life of purpose

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