What Do You Do About Your Friend That Argues With Everything You Say?
You know, Mr. or Ms. Contrarian.
The kind of person who, if you say, "The sky is blue," will screech, "No, it's red!" and vice versa.
This type just loves to pick a fight over semantics, turning every casual conversation into a presidential debate by contradicting every word out of your mouth -- even your opinions!
I have a friend who will look for any imaginable reason to disagree, just for the fun of provoking me, putting me on edge, and trying to "win."
If I say a certain star is fat, he'll say, "No, he isn't."
When I described a certain actor as a "semi-name," he started bellowing that he was actually a big name because he had been on Broadway and was on a Murder, She Wrote!
When I said a certain show was exploitive, he started arguing that it wasn't -- and he hadn't even seen it!
When I mentioned that a lot of actors come out as a result of wanting to stop bullying, hate crimes, and suicides, he insisted that wasn't the case, even though I started naming instances of actors who've openly given those as their reasons!
And when I mentioned a 60-year-old actor who bizarrely wanted to play a 20-year-old, he started carrying on that the role is actually 23 years old -- as if that would make a difference! And it's not true anyway!
Invariably, I start arguing back, furious that he's turned a chatty conversation into a horrid experience where I'm on the defensive and having to talk my way out of a trivial corner of his own making.
I find myself choosing my words really carefully, but that doesn't work at all.
If I had said that actor was a little chunky, he would have surely shrieked, "Please! He's fat!"
If I had said that other actor was a name, he would have said, "No, he isn't! Just doing Broadway and one Murder, She Wrote doesn't make you a name!"
He just likes to say the opposite. ("No, I don't," I can hear him saying.)
The other day, I slammed down the phone on him, unable to take any more wearing down of my ego.
He called back the next day and left a message as if nothing happened.
What do I do now?
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you'll never miss Village Voice's biggest stories.