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?



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.




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.





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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109 replies

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

    • I think others see me as argumentative because I really don’t agree with the status quo very much. When you don’t believe in the status quo you must defend your opinions far more then one who does. In fact supporting the status as in capitalism, the rights of those who consider themselves authority, the democratic system and so on takes not only much thought, bit little in the way of facts, history and so on. I also think the word “defensiveness” as you use it and how it is normally used is wrong. If any of us has an opinion do we not try to defend it if we do our research and have been shown nothing by the other to change our mind. As well it’s tough when people say you always think you are right when you spend your life learning and thinking and researching and the only defense of most seems to be the old “it’s that way because it is” and have nothing more to offer. I’ve spent my life in search of truth and don’t agree with others just for the sake of peace. The biggest example I can think of is the religion arg ument. I am an atheist because I have never in my entire life heard a single reason to believe otherwise, yet I am always called defensive for arguing my pt. and not giving in. In the US anyway the religious seem to be able to believe in all sorts of make believe and never be called on it. If I were to make absurd statement on something like that (as long as I didn’t claim it was my religion) I would be laughed from the room and called an idiot. I do believe belief in god is idiotic yet I’m not permitted normally to say so. If I were to say the sky was black in the middle of a bright shiny day I would be considered insane and or called an idiot nd most would think that were ok.
      The reason I read this page was I do believe a friend of mine is of the people you speak. He seems to have little information on anything yet will argue about it untill the end of time. Next day he may change his opinion totally (forgetting and denying the one he previously held) and defend that one just as aggressively. All with tenth hand old wives tales at best to defend his new opinion and then get loud when you dont buy into it.

      • I have to agree with you. I don’t enjoy arguing or debating but I know people shy away from me because I will inevitably disagree with them due to my contrarian views on various topics. For little things, I let it go and don’t say anything but nod my head. Some of my friends do that as well – they hold contrarian views and instead of disagreeing with the mainstream, they just shut up and say nothing. I think this says a lot about society and people in general. Just look at the number of downvotes you received. When I read your post, I didn’t see it as argumentative. It was just a polite explanation of your views and experience. But nonetheless, so many people slammed you for it.

      • Sorry, but you sound like my boyfriend. He disagrees with me on everything! I believe when they state that you’re being defensive, they don’t mean defending your opinion. What they are saying is that people who are argumentative about everything,, are using these arguments and disagreements as a defense mechanism because of feelings of inferiority, or lack of self-esteem. When you put someone down by basically letting them know how “stupid” you are, it makes them feel “bigger” and in control! It’s a control thing for sure!!! At least that’s how I understood what I read. You also have to remember that everyone is entitled to their opinions and should not be called ” wrong” or uneducated!!! After all, they are only opinions. There’s no right or wrong when it comes to opinions, because that’s all they are, opinions!!! However, super opinionated people can be very exhausting and eventually disliked. Try being on the opposite side of it!!! It’s absolutely awful.

      • This type of person sounds very much like my sister-in-law whom has made it her life mission to do nothing but either argue that everybody elses or/and their opinions are wrong, or she will state her point in an aggressive manner and then declare that “debate” is over and that her word is the last and final one!
        I used to respond to her by asking her in a calm manner about her sources or experience that produced her conclusion or statement, but more often than not this just resulted in her raising her voice further or telling me that I didn’t understand her side of the debate. These days I just avoid any kind of “debate” with her and allow her to embarrass herself in front of family and friends.
        I feel sorry for her husband, after 23 years he must have the patience of a saint! 🙂

      • Boy, you must be a real joy to have around… Have you ever tried to just “agree to disagree” and respect that not everybody sees things the way you see them (and they might be just as well-read, intelligent, and informed as you are), instead of ramming your opinions, thoughts, and points of view down their throats because, in your opinion, their arguments aren’t “good enough” for you?

      • First, I can relate to your arguments. I used them on myself for decades, and argued and won many times. I also lost friends over it. “The Truth” is what causes all fights. The problem is I think I have studied every issue honestly, rigorously, and never ever stop “researching”. However i have come to a completely opposite worldview than you. I also think I don’t go with the crowd.
        I use to spend a lot of time “putting people straight”. But if we ran into each other there is no way either of us going to budge.
        Eventually, I am 63, I came to the idea that people think differently and you can’t break that. Honestly until I was about 50, I said that if anyone could here my logic they would have to agree with me! Now I see my folly but still catch myself arguing uselessly. You have to be more choosy on who you pick to debate. Don’t waste your time. Getting a relationship first and building trust over time gets a lot more interest from a person even if they are dug in.
        I know you may not come to this conclusion. But you will be a lot more at peace when you realize that 95% of the people you hammer on are a waste of time. And they are not a waste of time because they don’t think. Their personality is not like ours. They just don’t see the profit into getting into an argument with a relative stranger.
        Good Luck and I mean that sincerely,


      • “I am an atheist because I have never in my entire life heard a single reason to believe otherwise, yet I am always called defensive for arguing my pt. and not giving in.”

        Besides the religion as the topic, just dissecting what you said:

        -Most people I’ve come across who I’ve had a normal dialogue with differing points don’t usually accuse others for being “defensive”, unless they actually come off as such.

        -Additionally, if you are “always” called that – and I’m sure you will say you didn’t mean that literally, but that’s even not the point, if you’ve noticed that it’s even more often than not – called that, there’s a chance you might be.

        -Yes, you don’t have to “give in”, just as others have a right not to, as well. But the fact that you might be obstinate possibly indicates that you’re not actually as open-minded to anyone else’s feelings, thoughts or arguments as well – even if they may be right. In the same vein, just as a statistical probability – that you’ve not come across not one “single reason” to even challenge your ideas to anything to the contrary, seems a bit odd. I mean, when I was looking into religious considerations myself, just looking up even Ravi Zacharias or other apologetics online gave me enough fodder to reconsider.

        Alas, I digress. Anyway, good luck to you. You seem genuine in your complaints, but perhaps a bit skewed in your outlook. Hope you’re able to sort it out.

      • Wow, I could not agree with you more Will! I feel almost entirely the same way.

    • My husband is an obsessive antagonist over the prettiest of things. He will trap you and go on for hours over something as silly as moving the remote.

      I’m in a very precarious situation with my immigration that I can’t leave (half our children is born in the UK) He also has parental rights. I have had to succomb to violence to get him to stop.

      I have been cornered over silly things such as him complain that my daughter couldn’t find her phone, then found it a few minutes later only to have him go on about putting things in a safe place for 2 hours or more.

      I need help or he will fly head first out a window or suffer some unfortunate accident… Lol

      • I also should add it is like this every waking moment I spend with him, if he is not traumatizing me, it’s the kids. I avoid him like the plague, he does dangerous work and everyday I wish he would never come home so my family can have peace.

        The day I had my daughter he was arguing with me when I was in labor, it never ends.

        I called the police on myself because I needed help, I was afraid of what I would do to him. He corners us and blocks the door and forces us to listen to his nonsensical rants.

        He is also midly paranoid his theories are just not real, he thinks every bad consequence was somehow planned by someone.

        I’m also being cruelly abused, I work nights and spend my entire day tending to the kids which results in me getting 3 hours of sleep a day.

        When he comes in from work he refuses to let me sleep, and says that “I’m taking the piss” he will argue that statistically (again I have no clue what statistics he reads) humans need 3 hours of sleep a day and if I get 2.5 that is just as good.

        I feel utterly trapped in hell, and I left my home because it was hell. It seems one prison gets traded for another.

      • i feel so sorry for you, please leave as soon as you can, even if you can’t live out here, at least the UK ISNT a third world country, you can still make something of yourself out there, but your sanity is the most important thing, your kids will come back to you, they prolly hate their dad just as much if they see how he treats you, you need to leave, i beg of you.

      • So do you live in the UK or somewhere else? This sounds like something that would only happen in my home country, the USA. I will pray for you and sending love your way.

    • It comes down to this if you want to know if its you or not. Ask your self this, how many people in my life I was once knew or were friends with i now do not talk with due to a conflict with them. If its more then a few look in the mirror.

      • Hmm. I have wondered this about myself however when I read the article I couldnt help questioning if I wasnt a neighboring personality trait/type so to speak? If there we were using a wheel model of various personality traits.

        I am working to vibrate higher regardless. I do see outdated mechanisms at play in my life. Since there is no reset button or do over option I will have to prescribe to know better do better!

  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.

    • How come I can comment on your post and not the above ones? LOL I am considering breaking up with my boyfriend because he is SO argumentative, and any opinion I give he has THE answer and mine is…wrong. The thing is (referring to the above posts) these people HAVE to argue…do they really think they are going to change the opinion of others with their words of wisdom? As with my boyfriend, there is the feeling of a bit of superiority where they feel that THEY know better than others, and they do not respect the opposite opinions. (I am talking about my boyfriend now….) Why don’t all these people that feel so strongly on certain issues join organizations who are proactive and and hold the same values?

      I was a middle school librarian for years, and although I cringed talking to the Trump supporters (and obviously they were just following their parent’s support for Trump….) I let them talk and did NOT voice my opinion. I respected their opinion, and commended all for talking to 58 other students to voice the reasons why–I also had them choose debate topics, and one prat of the group had to argue the pro side and the other the con — IT was REALLY hard for them to debate on the opposite side they personally believe in, but they (MIDDLE SCHOOL) found research to support their topic and debated in a respectful and ‘professional’ manner.

      Point is…how are these people arguing? From the sound of it, they are self-righteous and “I know what’s right — I’m smarter than you….” Otherwise they would be able to just SHUT UP — what is to lose? I don’t think our nations’ ability to voice their opinion…..I enjoyed reading the previous page on characteristics of argumentative people — I don’t like feeling “less than…” Yeah– I deserve better.

  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.

      • Hi Jennifer,
        I’m referring to one of your comments below.

        The world is far too complex to be adequately captured by this article. It’s difficult to know when being argumentative is good or bad. For example, if your peers are all drunkards, you will probably find yourself at odds with them if you are not a drunkard.

        Often, circumstance and/or environment can bring out conflict. What is the most important is situational awareness. Am I adding value? How are others responding? Am I making things better? What am I aiming to achieve? Does the other person have valid feedback? Have I considered it? Is it worth discussing with a friend for an independent perspective?

        I find that I am constantly at odds with most of society on one topic, sexism. I have found today’s world to be far far more sexist than anything I ever dreamed of encountering (eg. Purposely giving someone a job based on their genitals, setting quotas for kids developing software based on their gender, excluding kids from clubs because there aren’t even numbers of boys and girls). This will continue to be a fight until the day I die. Nobody will ever convince me that a person’s gender is relevant to almost anything (even if numbers don’t happen to be the same). By the definition of this article, I’m argumentative. However, there are times when fundamental decency is overlooked by society and we need voices of reason to challenge group think when it goes awry.

        I am very open to anything that is not designed to be prejudiced or hurtful. Most people are swayed by most of my arguments, however, I know that I am selectively argumentative, as we all are. It’s our ability to see something bigger than ourselves that makes the difference.

        If you are able to look beyond yourself and understand multiple perspectives, your argumentativeness may be ok. If you conflict with many groups on many topics, there’s definitely a problem.

        I really liked Andy’s post. I hope I can help my son think more like Andy. My son can’t see past his own shadow with anyone. It’s all linked to self esteem (I suspect).

    • WOW Andy — awareness is the first HUGE step to changing. I just saw this was written in 2014 — if you get notices of the posts how is it going now? If I bring this topic up with my boyfriend, he has put it on me and “that’s not true–you’re wrong” to which I reply “These are feelings — you can’t tel me my feelings are wrong….hopeless….I wish my boyfriend wrote this….:(


    • good to know that people like you are exerting effort to improve. wishing you best of luck.

    • Good on ya bro, you are showing more humility than I ever probably have with this issue. I can relate. I feel that people don’t care about the truth as much as I do and are just lazy minded. At the end of the day, it is not worth it. I am exploring the idea of wanting to argue due to lack of a feeling of identity or lack of self-confidence, although it is a confusing thought to me, and I sometimes think maybe it would make more sense if it was due to unhappiness. Sometimes I feel like I argue because it is simply stimulating and should not be threatening in any way.

  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.

    • Would being called argumentative be name calling? If so, I win. 😉.

      • I am considered to be an argumentative person by a lot of people, including my boyfriend. I honestly don’t know what to do to stop it. I feel like I’m just opinionated and often find myself trying very hard not to share my opinion because it does seem to start arguments more often than not & I honestly hate arguing. I run a Facebook page for my company and I have come to the point that I just delete negative comments from the page rather than pointing out the facts because nobody ever just says “Oh, you’re right”… and I definitely do not want to argue with them about it. So, if I’m trying very hard not to argue with people… I don’t understand how I am the problem. It seems to me like there’s just a lot of people out there who do not like to hear other people’s thoughts and opinions and just expect you to just shut your mouth and agree, no matter what. It’s starting to be a confusing subject.

    • This article describes my husband of 10 years to a tee. I somehow need to find a way to stop reacting to him and sinking to his level because he has just destroyed me with this “mechanism” of his. UGH.

      • I have two siblings And a partner that have this personality disorder and it is very wearing on your happiness and positivity, I have begun to find it aggressive and it makes me feel physically uncomfortable around them, it’s good to read why they really do it as I had suspected it is down to a lack of confidence and self worth , making themselves feel powerful, very sad and disappointing.

      • Sounds like you need to divorce him. When respect is lost or there is too much of an issue due to a some aspect of a person’s behaviour, and negotiation/discussion can’t resolve it, its probably time to leave. Find happiness with someone more suitable.

      • I am/was like your husband. People like us can not stand to be wrong or think we have wrong opinions. It took decades for me to realize the only one I was hurting was me, and of course the people that had to listen. The pain your husband has inside is intense and he using this for relief. I was helped greatly by studying the subject and getting good counsel. The biggest benefit for him is that over time, stuff will not bother him. Even though it helps you, he will be the big winner if he realizes he is causing all his misery. He just doesn’t have to argue, but we types are self-righteous and can’t lose because we have “the truth”. The problem is that other people simply will never agree. And who cares. Is it worth losing your wife and health to prove some damn point that in the scheme of things is way less important than having a good relationship.

  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.

  8. I have a friend who loves to argue and I feel attacked much of the time.

  9. My mother seems to enjoy playing a devil’s advocate type role against me lately. When I attempt to draw her attention to the way she treats me with her indirect bullying; controlling; undermining and argumentative behaviour she then accuses me of being the troublemaker and insists that she is not arguing with me. She often disses my opinions in a way that only a parent can get away with. I try to be nice and respectful towards her but she always seems to find a way to put me down again. I end up feeling very low in self esteem, so my resentment builds up and when she has a go at me I’m already hyper vigilant because of her ongoing pattern of behaviour and I’m ready for another flaming row. She even slapped me once. What can I do, she’s got me trapped because I’m concerned for her, she is widowed and she has me living with her paying way too much rent and hearing way too much from her about how I should be running my life etc but I’m worried she’ll get another ‘Mc husband’ off the internet if I move out. She’s still paying off a dead man’s debts because she married a conman she met online several years ago…help 😦

    • Hi. Thank you for your post. I can relate as I am experiencing something similar to this.Hang in there.
      I wonder if she has any notion of personal space boundaries.

    • Just remember you are not responsible for your mother. She made her bed and now has to lie in it. You do not need to tolerate her verbal or physical abuse. Personally, I’d move away from her. She is not an asset to your life.

    • That my dear is a mother with a narcissistic personality disorder who gaslights you. If there is one book I would recommend to understand your predicament and the psychopathy disorder that controls your mothers’ personality. Unfortunately, the only way to heal and to manage this is to set strict boundaries which is a learning process for adult children of NPD parents. If the parent is absurdly narcissistic, you may have to cut off your relationship altogether with her.

  10. Thank you for this column subject. I’d like to know some probable reasons why people develop this trait I assume there are conditions in their early life that likely lead to this trait. There must be some common “theme “in their histories however varied their personal stories . My “debater”, ha, was on only child & wonder if that is common trait. Interesting article, we’ll done.

    • Hi. I have been sucked into the arguments by argumentative people. I have noticed that many have no control over many aspects of their life-not to say they are all like this-but many i have come across are unhappy with their life and I wonder some times if they are consciously doing this or if their minds are stuck in a cyclical pattern.

    • My husband is not an only child, he has 3 siblings and he’s very argumentative. He will go to extreme lengths just to prove himself right, even if he knows he’s wrong. He is always adding little sarcastic side comments when he is talking to you, to try and bait you into an argument. He loves to blame others (especially me) for why he’s wrong (if he ever admits it). It’s super frustrating to live with.

      • He is toxic. You have to get away from a person like that or they will poison you and you’ll become someone you don’t want to be.
        When he starts in, politely say you are not engaging in an argument and then get in your car and leave. If you do it enough, he’ll get the picture. When you leave, go do something fun. Enjoy your life. It’s too short to waste it on a troll.

    • I believe my husband learned it from his mother, and then was able to learn how it gets him attention – even negative attention is better than none for some people. The man needs help but since he’s always “right”, there’s nothing at all wrong. *sigh*

  11. My work colleague/office manager is EXACTLY as the above. Made my life a living hell when i first started ther by not training me, lije i should just instinctively know how to use a brans new system!! In the end it was a fight or flee situation and i choose to stay. 3 years down the line and i am at my wits end. No amount of explaining to my boss the difficult behavior i have to put up with, i just get ‘shez going through a difficult time or thats just the way she boss doesbt see the full effect as she hides it. My work is never good enough and i have ALWAYS done something wrong. I usually return from holidays to a list of errors ive made. She doesnt help, suppirt or train me….she bekittles; argues and makes me feel like hell. How do i cope with it? Makes me so down but im now getting annoyed that i spend my home time venting to my partner about her. She consumes my life!! Which is probably exactly what she wants. Recently i have started ignoring her catty comments but inwardly i am getting destroyed. Even if i leave, will my shattered self esteem repair?

  12. How do I handle being best friends with them? I love having him as a friend, but when he gets into arguments a lot, he’s always right. Whenever I’m in an argument with him, I always step back from it and stop because he will always be right. But now, he’s saying that I always want to start a fight and how I always continue or further them. I hate getting into arguments with him, as you can see. How do I handle this situation without losing him as a best friend. I just want him to realize that it’s not my fault for these arguments and I don’t want him to get mad at me.

    • It’s not easy when they are always correct and on top of that if they are raising a child who is following in their footsteps. I say let it go. Yes, good friends are hard to come by but perhaps this one is never going to realize that it’s not your fault for the arguments and no matter what he will get mad at you. I wish you luck Austin

  13. Reblogged this on Mindspace Intuition and commented:
    This is a wonderful article on the Aargumentative personality” that is both enlightening and self-evaluative in nature. Are you an argumentative personality or do you know/live with/work with someone who is? How have you handled that?

    • My grandson is21. He thinks he knows it all, he is lazy around the house ,don’t have a job and he thinks everybody owes him,disrespecting,hateful,selfish,he thinks he is better than everybody.wants to argue until he thinks he won.He is self centered. What’s wrong with him .He smokes pop a lot. Could his brain be messed up?? I can’t stand being around him and his smart mouth.He needs some kind of help.

  14. I have this friend who is very important to me yet we don’t often see eye to eye. She’s the type of person that cuts negativity out of her life no matter who it’s from. I often find her views questionable, and find it annoying that as a friend I’m supposedly obliged to follow her views, something people expected from me when we used to date.

    She also gets very immature though when she feels she has been insulted in some way. The other day I found it a bit silly how people (like her) found such importance in a video game, like it’s such a big part of their lives. I found it a waste of time but I still enjoy playing of course, just the people and experiences aren’t life changing. I made a Facebook post about it and she got ultra defensive and when I tried to tell her to just relax and that I didn’t mean to take potshots at her she continued being passive aggressive. Now this is the annoying part, when we get into arguments, she seems to think she can throw any insult at me and knows she can get away with it. While i have to hold myself back because I know she’ll just end the friendship right there and then. I’m rather antagonistic during arguments but I’m always the type to move on and forget Al ost immediately. It truly upsets me because i felt like we were having a really good streak of friendship, and she just tells me I have myself to blame for ruining it.

  15. This is so insightful! Thank you very much, to whoever wrote this article. I have to deal with a mother who has always drove me insane with her appetite for arguing. I myself, love to debate and read upon differing opinions. The thing is: I regard debate as a way of perceiving another person’s perspective and hopefully learning from it instead of pushing my views on them. My mom doesn’t argue about politics, morals or issues that are truly insightful. She clings on the trivial things that makes her heated and never seems to accept any mindset that differs from her. Her logic is always: I’m 20 years older than you, therefore I know everything and you know nothing. It’s really tiring because although I respect her some of her valid concerns, most times she is just bat shit crazy and makes no sense whatsoever! That along with the 3rd World family mentality and religious delusion just makes it extremely unbearable to hold a rational and sensible conversation with her. I am learning to handle that along with the emotional abuse, but I’m in for a long journey as long as I am living in her house. Once again, thank you!

  16. I have an adult son who is very argumentive and has to be right and on his terms. He is always blaming and fighting with others, is unemployed and homeless and does things that I am ashamed of and embarrassed about. He desperately needs mental health counseling but will not go. He argues with his father and does not listen to others. He wants people to listen to him, but he refuses to listen to them. I am at my wits end and so are many others. He is 46 years old and is extremely depressed and at times threatens suicide. However when he gets admitted to a mental health clinic it is usually for one night and they release him. Nothing gets done. Its always just financial according to him. Well if he would behave he wouldnt have financial problems.

    I have major health problems and I deeply love him. When he is calm he can be good.
    But when he goes out into left field we get scared.

    I don’t know what to do. Please pray for him. His father and I were never married and his dad abandoned and rejected us many years ago. His dad relates from a long distance. He treats his son horrible. and has created a lot of my sons emotional problems.

    I am 68 years old and still carry the scars of being an unwed mother. I was discharged from the military because of my pregnancy and have suffered for years from the emotional problems since than. I am now on a VA disability for PTSD -MST . Time does not heal all wounds.
    I have been an unwed mother, married for 22 years and than divorced; now a widow.
    I have 2 biological children; 6 step-children, one foster son, and many extended family.

    Yet I am alone most of the time because the only family member I have here is my son.

    And he drives me nuts. Always wanting people to help him, but never doing much for himself.

    Even tries to tell professional people how to do their jobs as if he is their supervisor, and one of them is a police detective ! YIKES ! I tell him to be more respectful but my son is a legal beagle and if people dont follow the law according to him… he gets upset and harrasses them.

    He is always gotta argue I get so tired of what he does. He has turned a lot of people against him, and makes people angry; than wonders why no one will help him or listen to him.

    Can anyone help me ? Please ? I dont want to see him do anything stupid. But I do worry when he gets really depressed.

    He means well but does not know how to handle himself. He is a social misfit big time.


    • I feel for your pain and frustration, and I hear how alone you are feeling. I’m sending love fm hugs to you because you deserve it! It sounds like your son might have Asperger’s syndrome. With behavior modification and mess he can learn to cope better. You do not have to live with his behavior, you can draw healthy boundaries he will fight at first, but will help him I. The end and give you the peace you deserve. I would join a community group like a church or group for widows or partners of adult children with Asperger’s (if that is the case) a d you will find the support you deserve. Best of luck to you.

    • Hi, i am sorry you have this happening, feeling powerless…but doing “nothing” which is very hard to well (and by that i mean learning to listen with empathy but not suggest etc…) is so hard, especially when we are used to telling them what to do, but his life is his…his lessons. But listening to people like thich naht hahn and others may help you….you are there together for a reason, to heal yourself and go to your hurts, a solitary and grueling thing but i think until we grieve we cannot talk to them in a truly effective way. He may have apathy and a lot of repressed anger, which covers grief, and telling him is not always helpful, but helping heal yourself you can do and not jumping to think we can fix things unless we are coming from our owned emotions, often repressed out of necessity, surfacing that will, by extension, help him, hope you understand…with best wishes and prayer, Ruth

  17. I liked the article, but was researching a more advanced problem. Some years ago I was shopping at an apothecary or drug store, when a female employee tried to draw me into an argument. I took the the ‘stay calm’ approach and went home. Within a week she had found someone accompanying her, followed me home and had her buddy-boyfriend-whatever threaten to kill me.

    At that point I stopped on being casual, moderate, and forgiving. A person I never met before freaks-out, stalks me, and plays hate-priestess sending supposed killers after me IS a bit extreme for civilized standards. Even worse is the process of gathering enough evidence to enter the Law.

    When the cause for the ‘Argue-Box of Pandora’ is born in a delusion or mistaken identity, the target actually has no way of knowing what is going on, nor why. But in black-humor I liked that pseudo-argument of her being unable to comply to the Law due being so busy pointing out my wrongs. I call it modern day Hauntings, a kind of cross-cultural revenge for science having proven the ghosts away. 😉

  18. “Other people, not you, are always to blame for starting an argument.”
    So…this is the claim my friend has. But if I feel he is the problem then maybe I am the the cause for the argument. Nothing is concluded. Each feels the other is the argue starter. Ultimately…silence is golden.

  19. I tryed counseling. They gave me pills that made me feel worse

  20. This does sound like me but not in all situations, im not like it at work, with friends or in social situations its just with my boyfriend, i know that im doing it but just can’t seem to stop being extremely defensive and arguing over silly trivial things

  21. Lisa, it sounds like you don’t trust your boyfriend.
    You’re wanting him to explain himself to you because of your own insecurities. You need to cut the rope. He isn’t going to make you happy. You’re unhappy in yourself. Find things to do that you enjoy and start having fun for once. Quit relying on him to cure your emotional hurts that he cannot see. Once you let go, you’ll start to see his wonderful qualities and be able to enjoy him. You’re too connected to him and can’t see the forest for the trees.

  22. Life saving article. I have lived with a super arguer for 28 years and it is not getting ant better. Since he retired his self esteem has practically withered and not helped by inevitable ageing. He often begins a conversation by arguing with himself, putting all the points of view e g Do you want a cup of tea or would you prefer coffee or do you want some fizzy water with Cranberry or a latte etc etc He always labels any practical suggestions of mine (eg to store the logs on palettes and not on the wet ground) as my personal choice – as though I am always getting my own way ie winning! This is only the tip of the iceberg.
    Luckily I don’t have to reply on his knowledge or expertise for anything so this is the advice I would give anyone. Firstly arm yourself with knowledge so you are well informed and confident in what you think and say. Secondly develop skills so you are not reliant on anyone. This has a downside because it lowers their self esteem so to counterbalance you need to behave like a Victorian controlling wife and ask their ‘help’ to do things and then heap inordinate praise even for putting out the rubbish. My horse and dog training has helped in achieving this!! I notice that his daughters would either make people repeat everything as a way of making him think about what they were saying or Just move onto another subject as soon as there was any conflict. The subject was anything she had to do (from writing an essay to washing her hair)and by making it sound extremely urgent broke the chain of ideas. My husband also uses this diva technique which is very irritating

    My own disappointment is that the person I thought was strong with high self esteem turned out to be a very weak one. It is a comfort to know I am not alone.

  23. I have a mother who is jjudgemental and just is not happy with life everything has to be her way. The older she gets it seems like the worse she becomes. I believe the saying “hurting people hurt people”

  24. Joseph Phillips

    I had a close friend, a friend who I thought to be my best friend, who had an argumentative personality. He would brag ” I am always right “, he would repeat his opinion to get the last word in, and he refused to admit I was right or valid when I shared stories with him about my own life. He would want it that he know more about me than I knew myself. I was in therapy and he would ask: ” What did your therapist tell you?” I would of course tell him what my therapist enlightened me with and he would say: ” I told you that first.” What left me bitter was I never challenged him when he said things like that. I am a mild, even timid person. I do not like conflict so like the article stated I needed to have the energy to challenge this friend of mine when he was boasting. Now he is very well read and knowledgable in science, history, politics, and movies. But he refused to admit that I knew something he didn’t on any topic even in the field of study I had pursued in college. He had to know everything about everything. My friendship with him was very regrettable and has left me with many bitter memories. He has since moved out of the country. I see his posts on Facebook and he is still debating and arguing with others. He even boasted of how someone un-friended him because he had proven them wrong using the facts he had to win in the debate they were engaged in. He seemed very proud of making that person mad.

  25. Hello, im so blessed to have found this site and forum, i have searched on google for “how to deal with someone who argues all the time” and found this page amongst the searches.

    i feel that my wife of 6 years has constantly found ways to argue and find fault with everything that i do. if its not me then she has a problem with her siblings or sister in law or her parents or someone at work or the neighbour’s wife.

    its as if she has to constantly be in a rut with someone. she even argues all the time in front of our 4yr old son who recognises its an argument and says to us to stop arguing…

    i feel sooo powerless to be i the presence of her as im sick of hearing her complain about someone else or finding fault with me.

    its got to a point where i dont really want to have a conversation with her about anything of importance as it might set off an argument. in fact i am starting to lie at times because it postphones an issue and then an argument.

    she then makes the argument my fault and wants me to make immense all the time…she goes on for hours until she gets what she wants. if i walk away she constantly pho es me and tries to continue the argument on the phone…if i dont answer she send loads of text messages and abusive ones…if i go into the other room and try to sleep…she comes in there to cotinue until she feels i have made immense…

    the funny thing is that when i do make immense, she starts all over again straight after…

    what do i do???

    • I feel your pain the best way that I got threw this time in my life is to just sit down with her and ask her questions about her childhood and about whether her parents argued all the time. Then just help her in the areas that she needs it. hope this helps 🙂

  26. I am generally not an agumentive person. I tend to avoid confilct but lately i seam drawn into arguments some of which i know is none of my buisness. I think i am becoming angry but i dont understand why – i seek out self help books and put myself on a more even keel but for the past few days i just want to tell people what i think and what sounds terrible is dont even care about them. Ive managed to fall out with someone and i want to argue with others but i know thats not me and i want to rise above it but im not back there yet.

  27. I feel like I should argue, to help change the mindset and prospective of others. Is that a good thing or bad thing?

  28. I’ve been living with an “argumentative” man for about 9 years now and it’s getting on my last nerve. I don’t know how much more I can stand it. He will argue over the pettiest of things….our recent argument was over a self-defense story we heard on the news. The woman in the story shot a rapist in her home. I said women have to be especially vigilant with self-protection b/c many criminals target females. My argumentative partner said men are just as vulnerable as women. Oh, really??? Let’s check the latest rape stats and see if that is true. He borders on being absolutely ridiculous with some of his comments. I feel if I say the sky is blue….he’ll say it’s black……just to argue. I’m getting so worn down and I think I will be leaving him very soon.

  29. I like arguing. Sometimes, when things are too calm, I get tense and restless and I ‘go out there’ and browse the comment sections of youtube videos and reply to some ignorant comment and get in a figh. It gives me a rush.
    This year I did some inner work, and I came to see it as this:
    My sister was verbally and emotionally abusive, and when I was little, I tried to stop her by force – growing older I realized, that I can fight back with words as well, and actually, I got good at it. She was more emotional while I used my sharp logic. She couldn’t win. Except, I was already traumatized. ‘you are a vermin, no one loves you’ – thanks Sis. also thanks for neglectful parents. So, while veterans with PTSD ride motorbikes to get that rush of adrenaline and to feel alive, my rush of adrenalin to make me feel alive with my developmental trauma is arguing.
    arguing is my childhood, it is my way of relating to the closest family member I had. this is what I know and this is what I’m good at.
    But even if I’m aware of its cause, and that it’s not healthy, I still do it once in a while. (because… nothing else I know so far satisfies that craving) for me, it’s like ‘fight club’ with words.
    Hopefully I will be able to heal myself, change the traumatic belief, self-parent myself and find healthier ways to cope… still, as long as I don’t take it out on people around me too much (I’m known as a ‘tells-it-as-it-is’ person), arguing with strangers on youtube is not so bad, right?

  30. Reblogged this on Laetitia Latham Jones and commented:
    An informative post 🙂 xxx

  31. I am so pleased to see this post has provoked some discussion and that it ‘speaks’ to you in some way. I find my personality blogs are the most popular, and wondered if there are any personalities I haven’t covered that anyone would like to see?

  32. It really helped me to read all of these posts. I am a 59 year old woman who was diagnosed with breast cancer last fall — my old boyfriend (from my 20’s who I’ve been corresponding sometimes on Facebook) He came up right away and since then (Beg of October) he has been a wonderful. supportive person. Well….not anymore…back to the old narcissistic behaviors more and more — argumentative, always has to be right, interrupts me constantly. never compliments me….condescending….controlling… know the rest. He was so different (to a point…) when I was on Chemo–of course I was really out of it, too, but I think he put on a good act.

    I just had surgery and then radiation and be done in May! Treatable and no need for mastectomies! But I DO NOT need stress after my recovery –that might have been the cause of my cancer!

    I also figured out that he will say something mean or condescending if I had brushed off some comment or came back with the truth on something. (Lesson: do not give any facts that contradict his….)

    GOSH, he has SO many characteristics of a narcissist. It had already started – putting down how I do things in my house, taking the liberty to straighten things up, eat the rest of things in the refrig without asking (I know –petty but annoying and I don’t have any income right now….), I could go on….

    Trying to think of the best way to break up with him after I recover from today’s surgery. On pain pills — hope this makes sense! LOL I will NOT bring up all the stuff that he has said or done –afraid of his anger.


  33. Hi Barbara/Scout,

    I have done a lot of work on cancer and you certainly don’t need stress during your recovery period. It is time to look after YOU.

    Best Wishes,


  34. Oh Barbara! I feel so bad for you. During a time when you need a hero, you have the opposite, a nemesis, someone making it even harder to get through day to day. I hope you find the strength to do exactly what is best for you. Actually, I also hope he finds the wisdom to turn his crap around and be that hero that you need.

    This article / blog may just have saved my sanity today. I am reminded it’s not me!

    I’ve been with a man for just under 10 years, married for half that, and he is the most argumentative man I’ve ever met. It’s gone on for so long that there are many moments when I believe I’m just about the stupidest human that ever existed (because he’s always correcting me). Major arguments / battles occur about every 6 months or so when my temper cup overflows and I can’t hold it in anymore. But smaller incidents occur pretty much every day. They may not be a true-to-form “argument” or fight, but they are situations where it doesn’t matter what I say, or any opinion I express, it’s wrong, and he’s got the right answer.

    He will be the last person on earth to realize (or accept) that individuals can have opinions, desires, or wants, and those opinions are OK! Those opinions or desires or wants belong to them alone. They are neither right nor wrong. They are owned solely by the individual. However, I am reminded by him daily that my opinion is wrong, that whatever I want to do that very moment (whether it be relax or go to the grocery or go for a walk or get caught up on work backlog) is wrong and he’s going to tell me all the reasons it’s wrong, and what the right answer is, even if his thoughts were originally in line with mine.

    It’s mostly petty stuff. But it adds up. Years and years of it definitely ADD UP! Example: If we choose to enjoy a dinner out he always asks me where I’d like to go. I tell him my preferred choice. He NEVER agrees and says “Ok, sounds good.” He always comes back with something like “why don’t you want to go to the other place? Don’t you like it anymore??” If he ever asks “what do you want to do today”, or “where do you want to go”, or “what do you think of this or that”…. or asks me for ANY input on anything, it doesn’t matter what I say… he’s got a better idea, a better plan, the RIGHT opinion. I wish he just wouldn’t bother asking me, because when he does, I know immediately that this is the next opportunity for me to have the wrong answer. Why even ask me anything if he’s got to expend the energy to think up what the new right answer is going to be? It’s like “Let’s wait and see what she says and then quickly come up with something else just so I can have it a different way opposite of hers! (even though I really liked her way to begin with – we can’t let her be right!)” As often as he does this, I wonder if he really loves me anymore. I would think that if a person loves another they would be open to hearing and accepting opinions, even encouraging growth, not suppression. What husband asks his wife to pick a place for dinner and then CHANGES it every time? I know… petty, but come on. By the way, it’s every detail of our daily lives… not just that.

    Just tell me what we’re going to do, where we’re going to go, and how this is going to play out, and leave my self esteem alone.

    I have a stressful job and work more hours than most in the company just to keep up. I come home and get “attacked” on little crap every day. Just like one member noted before in this blog, if I said the sky was blue, he’d say it was black, just to show he disagrees with me and he’s of course RIGHT! It’s overwhelming and has resulted in depression and is at a pretty low point right now. I’m getting better at calling him on his bullshit but then it results in an escalated fight, and then, of course, I feel guilty about starting the fight. 😦 I just can’t win here.

    Sometimes I feel like I should know better and just let him have his glory. But the truth is, I’m a sadder person all around and now it’s impacting my physical health. My mental health is at an all-time low. I know that if I don’t stand up for myself, who will? He won’t! I get enough crap from work and I need him to be my hero, my sanctuary, my best friend, and in my court every day. He’s not. He’s waiting on the sidelines for that next opportunity to prove he’s smarter and more capable than me. He must feel like he has to “fix” me. That’s sad because before, I was a pretty cool woman. Confident, capable, smart, successful. Now, I feel like I’m a failure all around. I wish I lived in a judgement free house, but I don’t. I live in a minefield of stress (quoted from someone else in this blog – GREAT term by the way).

    No, I’m not going to leave him. I love him. I’ve got a lot invested in this relationship and marriage. I am 100% committed to it and him and I just have to figure out how I’m going to cope with this, derail his behavior when he starts in on me, modify my thoughts when the barbs come, and/or maybe get him or us to counseling. I just wonder with all his complaining and little attacks, is he even happy with me. How can he be? Apparently I disappoint him so much because I never do anything right….

    • This is probably weird coming from a complete stranger and while there’s no guarantee that you’ll read this I feel obligated to reply. You don’t need to be fixed by someone, you’re fine the way you are. Humans aren’t supposed to be closed off; they should be open to others opinions. And while this may not be the best advice out there and it’s definitely late, I believe that to deal with these types of people you just have to stick out the argument. I feel like they’re looking for a fight, & at the same time, if you don’t defend your beliefs to people that are closed off, they’ll just trample on your opinions more. It’s obvious that you really do love him and aren’t willing to take extremely drastic measures, which is why the only thing I can suggest for you to do is argue. Argue until he’s tired of it, until he gets it in his head that you don’t share his opinion. However, when you’re doing this, remain calm, as there’s no point in even trying if you personally are going to get worked up; as that leads to backing down or worse. Just be your and defend who you are and you should be good. This doesn’t mean that you wont argue every now and then, but it does open up more a route to more self confidence and respect, as well as courage.

      Of course, you don’t have to take any of this advice, it’s just what a random stranger on the internet believes. However, if you do end up reading this, then if you want to go somewhere, go there. If he thinks there’s a better idea and you dislike it, then go by yourself if you have to, or with friends. He’ll eventually learn to separate what he personally thinks is better and what you desire.

  35. People say I am argumentative, but they are what I like to call …wrong.

  36. I kind of resent the idea that I need to get “better.” I’m already better, everyone else has a problem.

    • probably why you suffer from this, you care in some way to comment because this article is at you. so you feel targeted hence the article proved its point by you saying exactly this.

  37. Lets call it what these people really are. BPD “Borderline Personality Disorder”

  38. I am argumentative and it makes me feel bad. I sought out researching it in the internet because of it. Why am i like this? I do have self esteem issues, so maybe I am trying to make up for how bad i feel about myself because if that? I don’t know. But arguing doesn’t make me feel good. I often feel worse even if it is a debate. People tell me I am judgmental, which I own that because we all are. But the fact people can point it out in me is a problem.

  39. Wouldn’t this be considered just plain narcissism? I’m extremely argumentative but I don’t just blindly scream my opinions at others or not consider them, when you’re argumentative, you enjoy arguing, however, arguing isn’t blindly forcing your opinion on others. Or at least, that’s what I think.

  40. Dealing with this people is a lost cause, they are full of shit and stupid ultimately if you call them stupid for some reason they just scream at you because they know that they are stupid and they get offended. Instead, the non-stupid person would not react like that.

    The only solution is to eradicate this kind of people from your life, the problem is that is not easy to do. It is easy to say but not easy to do, some people will manipulate your brain until you are forced to say sorry for things you did not even do!

    This argumentative person are total garbage, they might have success being lawyers defending murderers and nothing else.

  41. Hi have an older sister who does this to me to such an extent, I decided to try an experiment. I brought up the topic of child molesting. I said I think child molesters are disgusting. Yes, on cue, she defended the pedophiles. If I say it’s raining outside, she says rain is normal and it’s not really raining hard. If I say I’m hungry, she says I might be only sleepy and not really hungry. If I say, there are 320 million people living in the US, she’ll say something like, “lots of people live in lots of countries.” I’ve noticed she does this only with men, including those she’s just met. I figure it’s some sort of passive aggressive castration thing. It’s a hideous personality trait. Yet she has plenty of friends. But like I said, she only does this with males. It’s really combative too. I feel sorry for her husband. At this point he’s basically vegetable dip; it’s the only way to deal with he. Say nothing when around her and completely shut yourself off and just wait to no longer around her.

  42. Reblogged this on The Koru Wellness Forum and commented:
    I wanted to share this succinctly written article that highlights both what an argumentative person can be like, on the daily, and some helpful tips to maintain your own sanity if you are one of those who live or work with ‘this’ person. This article was not written by me so please give credit to all of its pearls of wisdom to the appropriate author. I simply found it relevant to my world, especially as an augmentation to my own healing.

  43. what if you are shy and argumentative ?

  44. I went to Google and asked why do some people argue so fast that you dont even get to finish your sentence BEFORE that they want to start arguing. Here’s what just happened :
    I’m a woman, 12 years older than my 250 pound husband. The fact that there are 3 reasons that he could be stronger than me should register to his mind. I started to ask him to not turn the sprinkler on so hard, that he started arguing with me that he wasn’t turning it on that hard. I started my sentence 3 times before giving up the issue. NOW : This is the case he GORILLA turns on or off nearly EVERYTHING so much that other men cannot undo what he does. So the sprinkler turns on automatically and waters inside my house. But to him that just must not matter.

  45. As someone who is often blamed of being argumentative and of the exact nature as this. I do argue alot but I do because it drives my passion. It motivates me. It gives me an adrenaline rush. It isnt to prove peopld wrong. Beleive me. I dont remember anyone who ive had an argument with. Its just normal with me. Its just a thrilling experience in the battle of the minds. The mental sparring is just too refreshing to let it go. And while those around me are usually on the defensive. Ive found friends of the same nature who I can be my real self with w/o the fear of being judged. Some of the comments here are misinterpreting this for low self-esteem or a way to cope are absoloutely wrong. The thing is people like me are absoloutely rare and difficult to find so most of the time. Im more stressed than most around me. Afraid I might annoy or offend them. So if there is anyone reading to this who relates to this. Things get better. Dont worry. 🙂🙂

  46. This is my sister. I have never had a close relationship, but after Mother died Diane has become unhinged. She has a specific point of view of family and never seems to get her points are just HER perspective. Try to converse with her a nightmare. She even switches her point of view when we speak to take an oppositional one. I asked her, since we are now old 70’s , to please just not take a judgemental point of view. We can only safely now, speak about the weather. Sad. She yesterday screamed I was being mean, aggressive and a narcissist when I suggest Ron, or problem actually had a 300,000 property he could sell and that his poverty was self imposed. Wow, its a terrible bind when you have this sort of person in family or at work.

  47. Living or working with those agumentative people is an hell experience of life. They are control freaks and arrogant people to impose their ideology or command upon others. I have some relatives, I had serious problems with them, finally try to keep away from them. The fun they have in causing friction in others will drive away others and creating enemies, still they can’t realize that blunder.

  48. There is a big problem in discussions above. If two people hold different opinions they both think the other person is wrong. That is how it is. No amount of postmodernism can chang that.

    What we all need to learn is to accept that other people think we are wrong and they think we are wrong a lot! This is growing up. So when difference of opinion arise, Ok then, state dissagrement and period. Next topic. No big deal. The other person thinks you are wrong. Live wih it!! Go suck your thumb if you need to, but spare a though on growing up!

    When arguments is about what to do, real stuff, you need to compromize. If other person does not want to find comon ground in things, time to take out the broom and rid yourself of crap. Love gives an willingness for common ground so there is no real love in that person.

  49. I find that I am argumentative with only one person in my life. For some reason he always takes the opposite position No matter the subject. He uses sarcasm to convey thinly veiled insults then when I stand up for myself he says I’m argumentative and too sensitive. So I have to wonder. Do I have an argumentative personality? He and I seem to clash on a regular basis and I think our friendship is about to end permanently which will be the first time in my life I have to let someone go due to a personality conflict. I really don’t think I’m argumentative. I don’t have an issue with other people. But, then most insane people don’t think they’re insane either.

  50. I work with someone like this, and I can’t even say something trivial or inconsequential like, “Will you be here at least 2 days this week so I can order enough lunches for the office?” I’m the office manager and have been told by the C level execs to order office foods. This person is not in management in any way, but feels completely superior to me and this turned into an argument where he threatened to speak to the manager to tell that person that with it being a short week, lunches weren’t needed this particular week of Thanksgiving. Despite me telling him that the person he wanted to “talk to” about this was the one who told me to get lunches this week regardless, but just enough for the first 2 days. This is just one example of the daily arguments I’ve had to deal with. It makes my work environment so hostile I almost dread coming to work even though I love my job. In fact, I’m looking this information up today because this just happened, again, after hours of argument Friday on 2 separate occasions, again about very benign, inconsequential things. I don’t want to be the one who brings this up to the boss man because then it seems as though I can’t handle my stuff, but when my heart is racing and palms are sweaty because of confrontation and argument that was supposed to be just a simple question, it just is too much. I get the points in here about not arguing back, but how do you make it clear that the thing this argumentative person wants to do has already been told to be done by his superiors? It’s absolutely crazy making behavior and I’m literally in tears every day because of it.

  51. Well, this seems like a thread that doesn’t want to die! Must be some real meat in the sandwich…Starting with a great article that holds a lot of truth, so, thank you.

    My husband isn’t as toxic as many of the descriptions above. But I am burned out by the simple fact that I cannot broach a subject, make a comment, explore my feelings about something, open a topic of any sort without immediately watching his facial muscles twist into disdain/disgust/disapproval/disagreement/dis-dis-dis whatever, as he becomes “counsel for the defense.” I have told him that trying to have a conversation with him is akin to being forced to argue a court case (neither of us is a lawyer). He immediately goes about–well, ARGUING. When what I said was in no way an opening to disagree–or even agree–at all. I just want to talk about something! The weather! My feelings! The food!

    I associate this habit, and my original attraction to him, as stemming purely from our respective, similar childhoods. Both of us had two brothers. Both of us were put down on a regular basis, as children. Both of us learned to “spar” with our siblings and therefore others, as a way of life. (It’s still like that when I get together w/ my family, and my dad is the worst, I can barely talk around him because invariably I will say something “wrong.” The brothers just roll their eyes, act bored, and “correct” everything I put out there. I have watched hubs’s brothers act much the same.)

    As a woman, though, I quickly learned how little traction one finds in life–socially, careerwise–by carrying this kind of chip on the shoulder. I soon realized my personality is actually more peaceable, more interested in being a team player, in compromise, and in listening. Sadly I developed into a classic co-dependent over-listener and over-doer as a way to counterbalance my abusive childhood. Working on that, now.

    Hubs, though, being male, began to thrive on his ability to duel with just about everybody. He has made a career out of being contrarian, righteous, and argumentative. It has worked well for him in some ways, I guess.

    That’s fine. Except when we are at home. When I just want to have a simple conversation. About anything.

    And then, there we are: At our respective childhood dinner tables, I suppose. “Let’s argue over dinner.” Ugh.

    When this first began to weigh on me, shortly into our marriage, I developed physical symptoms: My throat shut down and I lost my voice. I went through over two years of therapy (counseling and physical therapy) to get my voice back. So now, when the pattern kicks in (today, over coffee and newspaper–I can’t just speak my feelings about an article without the court-case-in-action bit starting up again, ruining my coffee hour), my throat shuts down within about five sentences (i.e., my attempts to deflect the argument and get back to “just discussing things”), and I give up.

    Today I told him I just couldn’t take it anymore and, after 12 years of marriage, am debating whether I want to spend the last third of my life (we married in midlife) unable to have a cordial conversation with my primary companion, ideally with a sense of cooperation and mutual appreciation, rather than going at it like prosecution and defense.

    I have warned him that I can–I COULD–easily dish it out as vigorously as he does, having been similarly trained in childhood to argue, argue, argue. Hey, I have a PhD. I KNOW how to build a case, defend it, and give you the footnotes in boldface, defend defend defend. But I don’t want to. I don’t want to LIVE like that, in my own home. I want to feel like we get along. Like we listen, and care about each other’s divergent responses to the news or whatever. Like it’s actually interesting, not threatening, to hear a differing opinion.

    Right now I cannot imagine going the rest of our days living like two opposing lawyers. It has wrecked our sex life as far as I’m concerned. Who wants to sleep with the enemy? But he’s not really an enemy. He’s a sweetheart–still brings me flowers! Other aspects of our co-existence are relatively okay.

    BUT I CAN’T HAVE A NORMAL CONVERSATION WITH HIM! And that is all I want. As we get older, I want someone to talk to.

    I really, really do.

    Without my throat constricting like a python around a bunny rabbit.

    It helps to hear that others have experienced similar things. The original article and comments give me something to work with and understand. I am particularly intrigued by the notion that hubs, and people like him, actually experience a dopamine surge, a kind of “high,” when they get into the weeds with someone and go at it. It’s a turn-on, a thrill, a habitual compulsion. Maybe hubs can learn to redirect this addiction elsewhere and put it aside when we’re at home? I realized today that he seems to have zero experience “conversing” normally, where you listen, validate, explore together, act curious about the other person’s pt of view… Which means, somehow he would have to LEARN these behaviors.

    I suppose there’s a kind of a game plan, there, anyway. {sigh}

    I appreciate all the comments, it’s like having the conversation over coffee that I missed today. (My throat still hurts, though.)

    • I feel your pain…

      • I meant to add… There will come a point (if you’re not there already) there will be a growing list of “taboo” subjects you will no longer be able to discuss with your spouse. At that point, you’re basically living like housemates. The strange thing is that these same men lament the fact that they’re not “getting any” and have no frigging clue that we women “shut down” verbally, then emotionally, then sexually. Of course, any attempt at discussing that is met with, you guessed, it, “disdain/disgust/disapproval/disagreement” and becomes the beginning of another argument. Why? Because they are not interested in hearing how we feel, how we see things. My husband actually tells me “I don’t give a shit how you feel”. What the heck am I supposed to do with that? So I too gave up any attempt at reaching out to him. In my mid-60s, I also gave up trying to find happiness with another man. I find my own happiness – with my family, my close friends, and in my own activities. That’s what keeps me sane and balanced.

    • Please please try couples therapy, it can really help.
      If he doesn’t want to agree to it, then even if you just start going to the therapist yourself it can really help change things. Eventually he may come too. Make sure its a good therapist, who has a record of helping couples improve their relationships. It may be expensive, but its really worth it, your emotional health is connected to your physical health.
      It sounds like a lot of communication and relationship skills that he doesn’t understand. He probably doesn’t realize the extent to which he is hurting and disrespecting you (which does not make it okay, there is a difference though in understanding how to have respectful interactions and being abusive anyways, and someone who is simply clueless in the right way to treat people.)
      But he can learn to improve.
      Young therapists working for agencies can be good too, try one out and see, and if that one doesn’t work, try another. (if you don’t like the methods of one, or they don’t seem to understand you, then try someone else, we are so fortunate to have these therapies.)
      You and your husband are worth it, and your relationship is certainly worth it!
      Good luck!

      • We’ve been to couples’ therapy – over 8 months at least once per week. In the end, our therapist said “I can’t help you anymore. I recommend that you do individual counselling to heal, separately.” So I did find another therapist (he wouldn’t take me on) and I made a lot of progress – mostly stopped taking things so personally and blaming myself for all the problems in our relationship. He never did individual counselling, nor has he changed his behaviour towards me, but at least now I am no longer destroyed by it.

  52. Avoid Arguing with a Argumentative person, there is no point just accept it and Ride on. I live with many and I know it is not me, others have same issues with the same Argumentative person.

  53. Ah yes, and here’s another thing that happens with the argumentative personality. If I dare express an opinion, a thought, or add to his story when he talks about something, I get “this is not a f*ing debate, shut up and listen”. So the next day, when he goes on about something, anything, I’ll be totally quiet and listen (not say a damn word because, you know, that’s what he TOLD me he wanted), and he says “Well, don’t just sit there acting dumb”. So when I tell him what he wants is a monologue, not a dialogue, he says I “twist things around”. Huh??

    • You two could probably really benefit from marriage counseling, find a good therapist. A couples therapist can help both of you understand each others needs better and communicate with each other better. The professional can demonstrate to him what he is doing that is not respectful to you, so you can set goals together and work on it, and objective perspective is very valuable in these situations.
      It may even only be a few months of counseling needed, maybe more. But it sure is worth it.
      Good luck!

  54. I argue with my boyfriend for every small thing and I think wrong all the time that my relationship can end up breaking up what I can do to stop it and how to control it do I have mental problem or what is it that I have ?

    • You guys probably aren’t right for each other, its better for you to break up, and each find someone new who suits you better, obviously relationships require work, and commitment to respect each other but it sounds like your personalities tend to clash or you’re having a hard time communicating,
      there are plenty of other guys out there who can learn to (or already have the skills) to treat you with respect, and work to let go of the things they want to argue about, which goes for both sides (as ling as its something minor – something that wont matter in a few days or weeks isn’t worth hurting your relationship by arguing over, in most cases.)

      It could also be a lack of communication which you may be able to work on together if you really care enough about each other to work on being a better friend. (which it sounds like you really do)
      Good luck!


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