This post doubles as both a response to the ‘Argument’ prompt via Daily Prompt: Argument and the ‘Hard Learned Lesson’ prompt on the October Writing Challenge I’m doing. I’m also going to try and come at this topic from a snarky perspective because I didn’t want Hip To Be Snark to be too serious, so I am hoping to liven things up.
Like the title says, arguing used to be fun for me. There was nothing more exhilarating than trading blows with people and coming up with witty, vicious comebacks and feeling like I was winning. If arguing was a sport, I was, at one point, probably be the Serena Williams of it and I would have many grand slams (or slam dunks?) to my name. Anyone who says that they’ve never enjoyed at least a second of an argument is lying. Or they’re a better person than me (which is probably likely).
In the past, I could argue with anyone over anything. I thought it was the best way to get my point across when people didn’t respect my opinion. I thought being a bad bitch meant never letting go on every single point. I would have defended bubblegum flavoured toothpaste to the point of exhaustion had I needed to. If anyone got into it with my friends, they would get into it with me. I would tell them about themselves and verbally drag them off the floor, spit them back out and then drive a tractor over them for good measure. .
Figuratively speaking, I was fearless.
There was one moment wherein I tried to back out of arguments, but people are strange creatures. A friend of mine once responded with, ‘So you’re running away because I don’t agree with you.’
Uh. Yes. Isn’t that how most arguments are supposed to go? What else was left once we had established that we didn’t agree? Plus I was tired. I get extra bitchy when I’m tired.
But….eventually. I met my match. Or rather, I met someone who regularly tried to out-argue me over EVERYTHING. There are people in this world who make a habit out of watching others just to try and catch them out. It could either be in a lie, a contradiction or – GASP! – a differing opinion.
So it begun.
I would say something and they (let’s call this person…Alpha 5) would disagree. Personally, I couldn’t give two shits if anyone disagrees with me or not. I have my life. You have yours. I am confident that we can breath the same air without having to share the same opinions. Alpha 5 didn’t really agree with that. Alpha 5 was like a dog with a bone. By that I mean that this bitch just would not quit. They were like a mind-bender in training, except it didn’t work on me because I was immune.
I said I didn’t like something and the reaction was: WHY DON’T YOU LIKE IT? WHY ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT IT? YOU DON’T LIKE IT BECAUSE YOU’RE NOT LOOKING AT IT THE RIGHT WAY? I DON’T UNDERSTAND.
Needless to say, I wasn’t feeling the interrogation and I calmly informed Alpha 5 that I didn’t care what they thought.
That, my friends, is rule #1 of How Not To Win An Argument.
Alpha 5’s opinion was a precious snowflake and I had melted it brutally.
From that moment on Alpha 5 was relentless. Arguments were initiated on what felt like a daily basis and they would end with Alpha 5 vanishing after I insisted for the umpteenth time that, ‘hey, I’m not about to change my opinion’
so can we both shut the fuck up now? And this was me, the champion arguer, slowly realising that arguing was a waste of time.
It wasn’t fun. It was just a way to kill boredom. A way to drain energy. Something that unhappy people actively went looking for. I had my issues but enough was enough, I decided. No more taking out my personal problems on other people.
Still, I wasn’t about to back down with Alpha 5 because that was what they wanted. For some reason winning an argument with me was a goal of theirs. They just hadn’t counted on my resilience. They knew that I could be self-conscious and get upset sometimes, but one thing about me that they didn’t know is that, I do not respond well to someone aggressively trying to get people to agree with them.
We either agree or we don’t.
At that point, I began to utter ‘let’s agree to disagree’ instead of ‘this is so fucking stupid, just shut up’. Alpha 5 was not a fan of that. Alpha 5 took that as a dismissal of their opinion. And it is. That’s basically what agreeing to disagree is depending on what side of the argument you’re on. Acceptance, or an easy dismissal. During a particular argument, Alpha 5 was enraged by something I didn’t even say. They twisted my words and refused to listen to any clarification.
Eventually, the truth spilled out!
“You never agree with anything I say!” they bawled.
After I rolled my eyes so hard that they popped out and tried to escape from the foolishness, I calmly explained that a world where everybody agrees is no life at all. We are all different. I enjoy it when I hear opposing opinions. In many cases, I will think, ‘Huh, that person has a point!’. In others I think, ‘You’re a fucking idiot and I’m offended by the stupidity pouring out of your mouth’.
That’s just life.
I will not positively respond to THIS IS WHAT I THINK, SO EVERYBODY MUST THINK THIS WAY OR THEY’RE WRONG!
Alpha 5 was obsessed with correcting people. Now, as a former know-it-all, I watched Alpha 5 and realised that I wanted to be nothing like them. Never. Ever. Nothing like them.
They literally inspired me to change my ways by teaching me that constantly arguing is
- time consuming
- energy draining
- fruitless in most cases
- not a good look – on anyone
And that was my hard earned lesson. It took a long time to learn it but I will never forget it.