The Argumentative Personality

The Argumentative Personality

I have been writing a personality column for Natural Health, where each month I provide some insight into different personalities. Here is some insight into The Argumentative Personality. Does this sound like anyone you know?

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Do you feel like some people you know enjoy arguing just for the sake of arguing? You could be right. While some people like to debate ideas and opinions, others argue out of habit: – they can’t help themselves, and will make a fuss about the most trivial things, just to cause conflict. This can drive those around them up the wall because they are almost always on the defensive, even about what might seem like the most insignificant things. Meet the argumentative personality – the friend, colleague, or relative who will find fault with you or a situation just to engage you in seemingly pointless verbal sparring matches. Other identifying characteristics include:

 

  • Their daily mantra seems to be, “I object.”

  • Other people are always the source of an argument, not them.

  • “It’s your fault” and “You are to blame” are some of their favourite phrases.

  • It’s almost impossible to get them to consider your views – in their mind they are always right.

  • They can come up with heaps of reasons why you, and not they, are the ones causing all the trouble.

 

Negatives

 

Here’s what’s not so great about the Argumentative Personality:

 

  • Habitual ‘argument stokers’ can drive you crazy, especially when you live or work with them; it’s hard to have a conflict-free conversation with them, even about trivial matters.

  • Many, if not most, of them have strong narcissistic tendencies; in other words, they are very self-absorbed.

  • They have little, or hardly any, insight into how their behaviours impact others.

  • When they come across people whose views differ from their own, they feel threatened, and go on the defensive.

  • They are chronic blamers: others, or the world, are always at fault.

 

 

Positives

 

There are minimal good points about the Argumentative Personality:

 

  • Being consistently at the mercy of an Argumentative Personality can help build motivation to stand up for yourself.

  • We can learn debate techniques from those who passionately defend their views.

 

How do I deal with the Argumentative Personality?

 

It takes lots of energy to defend yourself and maintain self-esteem when you have to deal with a person that sees you as the source of wrongdoing. Here are some suggestions on how to maintain your sanity when working or living with an argumentative person:

 

  • Chronic argument seekers use an outmoded style of relating that might have worked for them in the past; realising they use an immature defence mechanism to protect themselves can make you more understanding and tolerant when in their company.

  • Try not to ask their opinion on anything – “I need this done in two hours” or “I need you to fetch the kids from school today” are better than “Do you think you can do this in two hours?” or “Do you think you can pick up the kids today?”

  • Avoid using phrases like: “Let’s talk about this peacefully” or “I don’t want to argue with you, but …”

  • Ø  People who constantly argue seek control and power over others. You cannot reason with them, so it’s best to withdraw from an argument than try to prove them wrong

  • Remind yourself that chronic arguing is an ingrained defence mechanism that, with time and patience, can be unlearned.

 

 

Am I an Argumentative Personality?

 

You know you are the argumentative type when:

 

  • Not a day goes by without you having an argument with someone.

  • Feeling you have control and power over everyone and everything all the time is critical to you.

  • Other people, not you, are always to blame for starting an argument.

  • The opinions and feelings of others don’t matter to you.

  • You feel good about yourself when initiating and engaging in arguments, which is why you can’t do without them.

  • The worst thing in the world is feeling you are wrong.

  • Relationships filled with conflict are normal for you.

 

 

What can I do if I am an Argumentative Personality?

 

Seek professional help from a counsellor. You can change if you are willing to explore the deeper meaning behind your argumentative nature. It is possible that you lack confidence and a sense of self-worth, and seek it through aggression and arguments; counselling can help you resolve this. When you begin to feel true confidence, the need for arguments and conflict will start to abate. Everyone uses some type of defence mechanism to protect themselves emotionally, so there’s nothing wrong with this; the problem is that your defence mechanism is an outdated one that probably served you well in the distant past. The challenge is in unlearning this old defence mechanism and replacing it with a new, constructive one.

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Categories: Psychology

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1 reply

  1. Shel only agree to do what I want when I say ill leave

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