For the Sake of Argument
Would you like to know what is going through my mind when we argue? Thought you would.
I do enjoy an argument. I love to start a squabble, a contretemps and escalate it to a quarrel through to an altercation, a fight ! By now I am sure you have realised that the reason I do this is twofold. First, I am provoking an emotional reaction from you which gives me fuel. Secondly, it enables me to put you in your place and control you by being abusive towards you. I keep it within the realms of stinging and barbed verbal abuse but there are those of my brethren who do like to let their fists do the talking. That is not my style but we cannot shy away from the truth of what is being done in the name of “a discussion”.
I know from experience and also from reading numerous comments and observations that you regard arguing with me akin to banging your head against a brick wall. You cannot understand the stance we adopt in an argument. Surely we must recognise that what we are saying makes no sense? Do we not realise that our position lacks logic? I will endeavour to enlighten you. I recognise two types of argument. The first is created by me. The second is created by you. What they both have in common is you are at fault.
In the first type I generate an argument out of nothing. You find this disorienting and confusing. In fact,I will often do this after we have just done something delightful together (throwing you from a height is all the more delicious – see Get Ready To Drop). I will invent some offence (why did you just look at that man across from us, when you did not) or I will seize on something utterly trivial (thanks for taking that last drop (and it was a drop) of the sauvignon blanc). I will level the accusation at you. You will at first be stunned because everything was going swimmingly. You will then be perplexed as my accusation is either untrue or so minor to be negligible. Why is he getting so het up over nothing? Indignance will then rise inside you as your inner self questions whether you are just going to sit and take this unjust accusation. I am shouting at you now and you either run away or fight back. It might go something like this.
“Oh thanks for taking the last of the wine, I wanted that. I have hardly had any.”
“Sorry? There was only a drop left.”
“But you didn’t ask me if I wanted it did you?”
“I didn’t think to, there was just a dribble.”
“You didn’t think? That’s the trouble with you. You never think.”
“Oh come on, besides you’ve had plenty of wine anyway.”
“Are you saying I have a drink problem?”
“Woah, where did that come from?”
“You. You are always doing this. You do something selfish and then turn it into an attack about me. Just because you cannot stand for someone to point out when you have done something wrong.”
“Good God, what are you talking about?”
“That’s it, try to dismiss me when I am making a valid point.”
“I only poured a drop of wine into my glass. It is not big deal. Here, if it troubles you so much, have what is left in my glass.”
“No, it’s too late. The damage is done. You are trying to make light of when I am pointing something out to you.”
“This is ridiculous.”
“Oh I am ridiculous am I, well that’s rich coming from someone who drinks a bottle, at least one, a day.”
“Where do you get that from? No I don’t.”
“Yes you do. I am concerned about your drinking, have you ever considered getting some help?”
And on it goes.
When I start an argument like this I am not interested in proving what I am saying is correct. I am already right in my mind. You should note that ‘right’ and ‘correct’ are not necessarily the same thing. The whole purpose of this type of argument is for me to upset you and turn an otherwise pleasant experience into a horrible one. This is about exerting control so that you become wary about upsetting me. Next time you will always ensure you offer to pour me a glass of wine before tending to yourself for fear of causing an argument. Of course,, the next time I will be arguing about how you took the last profiterole instead even though I had eaten five more than you already.
The second type of argument is where you level a complaint or accusation at me. Invariably what you say is correct and you have valid grounds for raising it. You will also do so in a calm and level-headed fashion because that is your style. When you do this I do not hear what you are actually saying to me. The validity of your argument is meaningless to me. The piece of paper that documents your point may as well be written in Sanskrit for all the notice I will take of it. All I hear is you criticising me and I hate that. I absolutely hate it.
How dare someone like you, who is inferior to someone like me, have the audacity to suggest I have done something wrong. I do not hear your words, I do not see the video recording you are playing back, all I hear is an unjust and scathing attack on me. Your words are drowned out by the raging fire that surges through me. The noise of the flames renders me deaf to your cool logic. I will deflect, deny and launch my own attacks (usually predicated on inventions) in order to beat you back. I am not interested in the correctness of what is being argued about.
I am only interested in stopping the burning sensation I feel from your criticism and to do that I have to extinguish you. This is when I lose control and lash out. I will hurl savage insults at you and I will smash items of property (in my mind I am smashing you, just another object in front of me when I do this) and some of my kind will engage in physical violence. You will try to make me see that I am wrong (any healthy person would do this) and you are utterly flabbergasted as to why I cannot see what you are saying to me. Now you know. I cannot see because of the fiery rage that has erupted.
How do you deal with me in these two types of argument? Well, I am saving that information for another time. In the meanwhile, see if you can piece together that ornament I have just hurled against the wall.
4 thoughts on “For the Sake of Argument”
On the first birthday of mine that my husband and I celebrated together, he took me out to a restaurant that he suggested. We were having a nice time, and he told me about the last time he was there (before we were together) and about how he had his eye on some girl at another table, and his friend “cockblocked” him. I cuddled in close to him and joked about how I should write that friend a thank you card because now we are together and all is right in the world. My husband got furious and said that he thought that I was on his team and he really needed to get laid at that point in his life and he never thought I’d say such a thing, etc. He barely spoke to me for the rest of the night. For awhile, I couldn’t believe how he’d ruin my birthday like that, but by the time we got home, everything was back to normal, and it was the golden period, so I brushed it all off, until I came here and remembered all the little red flags.
Very interesting and helpful. Thank you. Looking forward to more on this topic.
You didn’t think? that’s the trouble with you. you never think.”.. famous lines..but it was that one, most used against me cause “he” knew that if he couldn’t get a reaction by saying/using the other lines..
He knew that it would be that one. “You didn’t think? That’s the trouble with you, you never think”…
Insult to my Intelligence…. How dare He do that..
Meanwhile what was once a calm cool detached exterior, inside rage and fury are building momentum..
I knew I was gonna loose it.. The adrenaline intense..
I couldn’t stop myself…”fuel” to feed him for a year..
He got what he wanted…and he did get what he wanted over and over again…for 5 years he was well fed…
Let’s just say; it was more than what I bargained for..
Damn I did it again I would think to myself…
And sure enough within seconds he would smile that devilish grin, you know the one that says”haha I got ya again, and I will do it again and again”..
Be careful what you wish for you, you may just get it and probably more than what you bargained for!
positivefuel8, “insult to my intelligence”…..that made me laugh because them fu*kens at work ‘insulted’ me many times, yes, I agree “how dare they”….laughing again, your choice of words here re: fuel – enough to feed him for a year, reminds me of my hours long ‘rant’ (LOL) at the MRN, now I know why I have not had a ‘hoover’ either (laughing), I ‘fed’ him enough for the rest of his life LOL. Thank you for reminding me of ‘being me’ is a GOOD thing, so I’ll carry on doing so 😉