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?

images

 

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.

About these ads


Categories: Psychology

Tags: , , , , ,

7 replies

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

  2. I was at my drama workshop recently in Sussex and one of the members did not like the session we where doing. She said that she could not understand the text to the drama coach. And unfortunately a row broke out between the workshop member and the drama coach. The drama coach was annoyed that the member criticised about her in front of the others when she should have took her to one side and told her that she did not like the session she did not understand the text at all ( it was George Bernard Shaw St Joan) the argument then escalated and the drama coach said if you don’t like it leave you are spoiling the session for the other members. They then left the room and the argument continued. One of the members said to the member who had complained this is a drama workshop you aren’t going to like everything that the drama coach does each week. This particular person has been in conflict with some of the other members before perhaps she is an argumentative person as this article says some people are and they jump at the slightest reason to argue with others.

  3. Hi Vivienne I have experienced this type of problem myself at a Yoga class some people are never happy unless they are causing problems. One woman causes hassle over someone else putting their Yoga mat on what she calls her space. There has been a row over that at times. This particular woman think she owns the floor space I think. I stay well away from her now. These sessions are suppose to be pleasurable not a minefield of stress. I hope your next drama session is less hassle good luck.

  4. This article fits me to a T. I have been told I’m argumentative on several occasions by different family members. When I was younger I had little to no self esteem, no self confidence, and a terribly negative self image, and I’m supposedly a really handsome guy (so I’ve been told). I’ve read that whenever someone is engaged in an argument, different endorphins are released in the brain. Feel good endorphins. I read a lot and I try to learn as much about the world around me as possible and others take it the wrong way when I express my views (or maybe I approach the situation in the wrong way) and it usually ends up in an argument. I’m trying to get better at this and I hope I can take a step back and really look at myself on a more frequent basis so I can curb my argumentative ways. Thanks for listening.

  5. Most of the time the person who is argumentative is in denial and often believes they aren’t doing anything wrong. Does this make them a sociopath? What about when you give them a list of examples and they make excuses or choose to ignore the ones that they know are valid? By ignoring I mean, they refuse to discuss it.

    I’ve also noticed in a lot of debates on Facebook there will be the usual back and forth between a few people and then suddenly there is someone calling those who oppose “idiots” and saying that the reason they are opposing is because they must be constant complainers or heartless individuals. It’s as if they cannot accept someone with a view that differs from theirs so in order to add merit to their view they have to put down the opposing party by attacking their character.

    Even when you are agreeing that you are on the same page they will respond in some way with a redirect about something just so they can turn it back into an argument. They often post floods of links etc of things they’ve pulled from the internet as if no one but them would know this. Most of the stuff is common knowledge.

    According to political debates, the person who starts name calling or uses profanity loses the debate.

  6. I have someone in my family who fits the mold of an argumentative personality. He is a blamer and will go to great lengths to prove a person wrong, to the point of lying, JUST to prove he’s right. If he is caught dead on in his behavior, he will always use the phrase, “Well, I’m sorry you feel that way, but that was not my intention” totally shifting the blame again, so that he comes out looking completely innocent. As I have grown and matured, I realize there is no reason to try and be right. I know when I am telling the truth about a situation, and I own my own feelings, so I don’t need to hear it from him in order to make any sense of it.
    If I do have something to say, I say what I say honestly and then it’s totally up to him to except it or not, but I will not try and prove my case any longer. Short and sweet is much better than an hour worth of a conversation that goes no where.
    Now, that being said, I don’t completely understand why anyone would consider this behavior beneficial, considering that it only makes you look like you’re in a constant battle of survival-mode. It must be exhausting to always need to be right and utterly painful when you realize you’re not. That constant, bi-polar thought process is damaging to your children and to others. It leaves a very bad mark.
    A professor once told me, “You didn’t get to this place on your own. There were thousands of people who helped you get here. Don’t ever take for granted that different people of different cultures of different races provided you this chance.”

  7. i thought there was something wrong with me when I lived in western Canada because I wasn’t able to get through many tasks without arguments. then I moved to Toronto and didn’t have an argument with anyone for the first year. so remember some cultures breed argumentative types.

    I have long had problems getting family members and house work employees to respect my belongings. I don’t know if that makes me an argumentative person. I feel terrible for days after rows. after a few years of dealing with people who argue I just try to get them out of my life–some people can’t be reasoned with.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 3,410 other followers

%d bloggers like this: