People Break Down Their Best Tips For Arguing With Idiots
Admit it: You've had an argument in your head with someone in the last week or so.
It's okay. We're living in chaotic times, and while it would be nice if everyone could use those fancy, high-tech computers in their pockets for more than just looking at pretty, filtered pictures to do some actual research on a topic, we know that's never going to happen. So, how do you compose yourself when a hot-button issue arises and you know, deep down, the person you're going to argue with is...an idiot?
Reddit user, u/incognitospy3, wanted to know:
Sources. Sources. SOURCES.
Expect to constantly have to steer them back to the crux of the argument, be prepared to refute any spurious sources and to back up your own facts with genuine sources.
Pick your battles because there will be many occasions where you will be told "we will just have to agree to differ" and "that's just your opinion".
Don't always expect that the idiot will understand your logic.
It's Hard, But Do Your Best
It's kinda unpopular, but be as polite and as calm as you can, intelligent people can sometimes act like idiots when arguing with idiots. This applies to the internet as well
I find a lot of "intelligent" people are only perceived as being intelligent in their own field of expertise; the "smart" ones stick to what they know while the "dumb" ones are arrogant enough to argue outside their field.
"Overall, idiots gonna idiot."
Presumably the only reason you're arguing with an idiot is because you love them. Instead of arguing, try to find common ground on something and agree not to discuss the subject further. No reason to disturb the relationship about something like an argument.
If the person you're arguing with is in a position of power over you and the argument concerns things like punishment, try to carefully lay out why you believe the punishment does not align with the action performed. Tread very lightly here, because a slip up could very well result in more punishment.
Furthermore, ensure that the subject you're discussing is something that is in fact open or logical to discuss. Try to see it from the other person's point of view, because they obviously believe that what they're doing is right for a reason. Complex imagination is a gift. Use it to your advantage in this case.
Overall, idiots gonna idiot. There's nothing you can do to solve that. But make sure that you're not an idiot back. That's something you can control.
Try To Keep Emotions Out Of It
Humor them, know the subject very very very well, and ask genuine questions. Take an interest in them. Let go of your grandiose 'right and wrong' bullsh-t for just a single moment and see the human life in front of you, with all its failings, successes, and potential.
The mind can only be changed one specific point at a time, and that point can only be successfully prevailed upon when the receiver is receiving instead of defending, the giver is giving instead of attacking.
In other words, don't argue with an idiot, because arguing is for f-cking idiots.
Also, you'll change a million more hearts and minds by example than you will by any other tack.
Source: I am an idiot, I get argued with a lot, you smart people really have no idea what you're dealing with. If you get emotionally invested, you're going to look and feel like every bit the idiot that I am.
Listen. Ask Them To Clarify What They Said.
You don't argue with them.
I had a coworker that I liked very much, but he was constantly listening to talk radio and spouting Fox News bullsh-t.
The thing was, he was smart and had a good amount of integrity. He genuinely cared about people.
So, I didn't argue with him, and I didn't contradict him, but the truth is, what he was hearing and repeating didnt bare scrutiny. If you analyze what Limbaugh or Hannity say, it simply doesn't make sense.
So I would listen. Then I I would clarify what he'd said, so he knew I wasn't dismissing him at all. Then I would be quiet and take the time to think through what he said and nail down all the fallacies. I'd find one falacy that I knew he'd probably see, or recognize, and ask him one or two questions about it. Usually, he'd start to answer and just stop as it became clear that it really didn't make sense.
Rough example: illegal immigrants just come here for welfare. They're lazy.
Are they? It seems like an enormously risky thing to undertake. People in the US won't move to a different state because of the risks. This guy had tried to get his wife's family too move to our state where the jobs were more plentiful and support would be closer, but they always balked at moving. Too hard. Too risky. Easier to just stay and complain. So, an hour later or so I'd bring up that subject. He'd finally accuse them of just being lazy for staying put. Then I'd say something like, "but, like, illegal immigrants are moving to America, and that's a lot riskier than your wife's family moving here. Why would they do that if they're lazy?" Not in a challenging way, but just posing the question.
It took a year or more of this sort of stuff, driving the wedge of his own life experience between him and talk radio. Letting him start to see how stupid he was sounding, without pointing it out.
He wasn't stupid. He wasn't an idiot. He just wanted to belong to a team. He wanted to demonstrate loyalty to that team. I just did what I could to help him see what that team was actually all about. At some point, he realized that all his "team" was doing was enslaving him with his own anger. He'd already had a heart attack in his life, why was he letting these people blow up his blood pressure with lies? BTW, the tactic of enslaving people through outrage is not just a right-wing tactic. All sorts of groups use this formula for power.
Sometimes it works, but only if you care about them, and only if you stop seeing them as an idiot.
You can't change idiots. Mainly because you think they're idiots.
Be Prepared To Play A Different Game
Think of it like playing chess with a pigeon.
Chances are, the pigeon will knock over all the pieces, sh-t on the board and then fly back to it's flock to claim victory.
Ask Questions Leading To Answers
I was going to say "Don't", but clearly that's been covered. Then I read the last guy say "Just say ok to everything and watch them self-destruct." You might actually get a little further along with this method if you implement Socratic Method and just ask them questions.
The point is not to get to a "gotcha" moment from you, but come from a place of genuine curiosity otherwise they may get defensive if they feel they're being manipulated.
Either they will wind themselves up until they figure out they really don't know what they're talking about, or you will have a better understanding of where their coming from.
Put In That Extra Work To Double, Triple, And Quadruple Check
Take time to make sure you are not the idiot.
Ahh nothing is worse than the mid argument realization that you're the one that is wrong
Give It Up For The Best...
I'm going to give you the benefit of the doubt and presume that you genuinely want to engage the other person, rather than just "win" the argument or feel superior.
First, and most important thing: don't call them an idiot. No one has ever changed their mind because someone called them stupid. Quite the opposite, calling someone stupid will make them become defensive, react emotionally rather than intellectually, and reject everything you are saying as a self-defense mechanism. Calling your opponent an idiot is great for making yourself feel better, but it's terrible for getting anyone else to listen to you. No one changes their mind because someone said they were stupid; they just convince themself that that person is an a--hole.
Along those lines: attack the idea, not the person. You disagree; you're aren't enemies. Discuss your problems with their belief, but try to separate it from the person themself as much as possible. This allows the other person to distance themselves from their belief and think about what you are saying without feeling defensive. Anytime you discuss "your belief" or "you think that..." or say anything that links your argument with them personally (or attack the person directly), you're reinforcing the idea that their belief is part of their personal identity, which (for them) means that they need to defend the belief in order to defend themself. Allow your opponent to separate the belief from themself, as this gives them room to consider whether the belief is wrong without feeling like to do so would mean to admit that they are personally flawed.
And third: listen to the other person. Don't just wait to talk; actually listen. Respond to what they are saying to show that you are listening, and ask questions without getting angry or combative. Debates turn into arguments as soon as one person starts to become heated, because that just makes the other person become heated, and it snowballs until you're both yelling at each other. Once that happens, you're both going to react emotionally rather than intellectually, and neither one of you will be receptive to the other.
Overall: stay level-headed, de-escalate emotions, be respectful, and let the ideas do the work.
Do you have something to confess to George? Text "Secrets" or "" to +1 (310) 299-9390 to talk him about it.
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There is so much to learn in the world, it's impossible for one person to know absolutely everything there is to know.
But there are certain things, like common phrases and idioms, that everyone seems to use that might be a little embarrassing to not understand until later in life.
Redditor Curious-2577 asked:
"What's something you learned 'embarrassingly late' in life?"
"My sister was in her fifties when she found out the meaning of, 'You have an addictive personality.'"
"She thought after all these years of therapy that it meant that people were addicted to her personality."
"We laughed hysterically when we talked about this (in a very sad way)."
"I thought that horses had toes until I was 22. I thought the hoof was a 'horseshoe' and the toes were tucked inside."
"How did I learn how wrong I was, you ask?"
"I was walking past a cavalry museum and saw a horse statue and loudly remarked, 'It must hurt so bad when they fold a horse’s toes to put them into the shoe!'"
"Dozens of horse enthusiasts turned and looked at me with wild bewilderment in their eyes."
"The saying is, in fact, 'Nip it in the bud' and not 'Nip it in the butt.'"
"A few months ago, two of my colleagues both handed in their notice at around the same time."
"I kept reading/hearing the sentence, 'They’re both moving on to pastures new’ being thrown about the office in the weeks leading up to them leaving, and I hadn’t heard this phrase before and thought that was the name of the rival company that they were going to, like, 'Pastures New.'"
"I thought it was weird that nobody was talking about how they were both leaving for the same company."
"I was in the car with one of the two people who were leaving and said, 'So where is it that you and X are going to be working? Is it...’"
"And just before I could embarrass myself and say ‘Pastures New,' they interrupted me and said they’re not going to the same place and asked me where I had heard that."
"I think at that moment, I realized I was stupid and didn’t mention it again."
"I think I was in college when I realized that Mario and Luigi are plumbers. I thought they just went and up down these tubes just because that was the theme of the game."
"That Bonsai are not a species of tree, but a way to grow them. Any tree can be a bonsai."
Houston, We Have a Problem
"Houston is not the name of the guy astronauts talk to."
"I learned that pork and beans are not called 'cowboy beans.' I was 18 and asked a grocery store clerk to help me find the 'cowboy beans.'"
"We were looking everywhere and I was getting frustrated because I know that every store carries these beans. After a while, I picked up a pork and beans can with a picture and said, 'See, they look just like this!'"
"He said, 'You mean pork and beans?'"
"Then I realized that my mom called them that so that I would eat them."
"The look of disappointment from that grocery store clerk haunts me to this day."
"Let me tell you about how I thought you were awarded a 'Pullet Surprise.'"
Rum and Coke
"Not too late in life, but I thought my parents were making 'Roman Cokes' until I went to college."
"Which, I think is a much better name for the drink (Rum and Coke) anyway."
Oh No, Not Acoma!
"That a coma was 'A' coma. Until I was probably 19 or so, I thought it was 'acoma.'"
"I thought you fell into acoma."
It Must Have Been a One-Way Trip
"My parents were divorced the whole time and my mom was not, in fact, taking a vacation, lmao (laughing my a** off)."
"I live near the Hospital for Joint Diseases… when I was a kid, I thought was a special hospital for people who had two or more different diseases at the same time."
"Moving cross-country, driving east to west, and crossing from Idaho to Oregon, I noticed huge fields with signs for the Ore-Ida Potato company."
"So I was in my early 20s when I figured out Ore-Ida wasn’t just a brand name but was because their potatoes came from Oregon and Idaho."
"When I was really young, my sister told me she threw her guts up. So I was really afraid of vomiting my entire insides up for years."
Some of these really had us laughing as we realized the revelations some of these Redditors were having.
But when we're really honest with ourselves, we probably didn't figure out some of these until later, too.
While starting a family and having children is a goal that many people have, some do not realize that it's not easy, fun, and loving one-hundred percent of the time. Rather, it's expensive, exhausting, and hard, though it might be worth it in the end.
With this in mind, people shared what they felt were the hardest hurdles of their parenting.
Redditor ApprehensiveShock655 asked:
"What's the worst part of having a child?"
Fear of Not Doing Enough
"The constant anxiety that you’re doing enough to shape them to make good choices, a good life, be a good person and for them to have the life they deserve."
Like the Energizer Bunny
"It's incessant. It never stops. You never get a day off."
"Going from having two days per week to relax and do whatever to literally never having a moment free from responsibility."
No Break In Sight
"I’ve always wanted kids and still do, but this is the only thing that has come close to giving me pause."
"Both my siblings have young kids and I cannot get over how CONSTANT it is."
"From the second the kids wake up to when they finally shut their eyes, it’s non-stop. Then they get maybe an hour or two to themselves, which is mostly spent tidying up, etc., before the nighttime stuff starts with the baby crying, the toddler coming into bed, nightmares, etc."
"It requires years of not getting a full night's rest. You can never just go out whenever you want. No sleeping in, even on weekends because someone has to be up with them at 6 AM."
"Raising human children is an insane task."
Mom's Body After Baby and Dad Bods
"The weight gain is the worst! During the pregnancy, I gained 35 pounds. My belly has stretch marks. My boobs are all saggy."
"And it’s not even fair because my wife only gained like 15."
The Meal Planning
"Coming up with three meals to eat per day EVERY DAY stresses me out so bad."
"This sounds like such a small thing, but it really wears on you over time. You can’t just make something for yourself or something you and your spouse feel like eating: You have to constantly be thinking about if the kid is hungry and what they might be willing to eat."
Keeping Them Safe
"When people ask me this I say, 'do you know those video games where you have to escort a character to a destination without them being attacked?' That's parenting. Those missions are a pain in the a**."
Seriously, Keep Them Safe
"Having to deal with their total lack of self-preservation. They are creative and come up with all kinds of ways to try and kill themselves. Keeping ahead of the game is exhausting."
"They’re just always there. On you, behind you, in front of you, just a little speed bump impeding every task."
Letting Them Live Their Life Their Way
"Having a kid is like having a little piece of your heart running around in the world. When they're sick or get disappointed or just feel sad, it's worse than having it happen to you."
"Yet at the same time, you need to let your kids work through those things to learn to handle them. If you give into the worry and try to shield them from everything, you risk creating harmful co-dependence."
"So it's a constant struggle. But worth it!"
What Is "Sleep" Again?
"I'm only nine years in, but so far, it's been the sleep deprivation. Hands down."
And What Are These "Sick Days" You Speak Of?
"Having to take care of a sick child when you are also sick. For me that has been the most challenging part so far."
Another Full-Time Job
"It's like taking a second job that lasts 18+ years with a 24/7 schedule with no holidays or sick days."
"…And no second paycheck. It's actually like YOU are paying your second salary instead of getting one."
"The loss of freedom. I can't just... go somewhere. Even with older kids, there's so much planning and thinking and getting ready."
"I miss being able to just decide to go somewhere, and go there."
The Time Flies
"The best advice I got was from an ancient hospital security guard in an elevator. 'The days are long, the years are short, cherish them while you can.'"
"The phrase I hate is, 'You don't know it, but one day you pick your kid up for the last time.'"
There are all kinds of troubles that come from being a parent, many of which people don't necessarily think about until they already have a baby in the house.
But reassuringly, many people in the subReddit pointed out that no matter how hard some of these hurdles are to get over, it's still worth it in the end, and it goes by far too fast.
Positive emotions are high among people in the blossoming phase of relationships.
Everything seems more romanticized for people in love due to the amorous joy in their hearts–which also influences their desire to frequently get it on under the sheets–or any other daring location in the heat of the moment.
But for those who've declared "'til death do us part," devoted couples may find that they are not always on the same wavelength sexually compared to when they first met.
Curious to hear how people keep their passion alive, Redditor Rude_Phone6841 asked:
"Married people, how do you initiate sex with your partner?"
When verbally articulating isn't enough...
Let The Book Dictate When
"There is a book called 'How to Subtly Tell Your Partner You Want More Sex.' If you sleep on the right side of the bed, you can casually open it up and your spouse will see the giant printed title on the front. Sometimes, I’ll just get the book out and leave it on his side of the bed. Once he was messing with me and acting like he was oblivious to my not-so-subtle hints, so I threw the book at him. The book is effective and hilarious."
"ETA: Sadly, we haven’t found the book since we moved. Fortunately, we’ve started communicating with our words instead. Words are just as effective."
Save The Date
"I send her an outlook calendar event and if she accepts, IT'S ON."
"You know when I’m down to my socks it’s time for business."
These couples find that verbal cues are best.
Now's The Time
"Honestly when we have the time one of us usually bluntly says 'let's go have sex right f'king now before we can't' and we go do it. Lol"
Option A Or B
"I have a 2 month old and a 2 year old. Some of the best sex we had was because I said 'after 2 year old goes down and if 2month decides to sleep do you want to meet in the basement' well she decided to sleep and damn that was good."
End Of Day Reward
"We just ask each other tbh. We’ll bring it up earlier in the day so we build up the anticipation with each other throughout the day, flirt with each other, gas each other up. All that. Then when it’s finally time at the end of the day, we usually fall asleep cause we’re so tired."
"But the cycle continues the next day!"
People continued offering their wisdom.
Afternoon Hanky Panky
"The trick is to initiate sex during the day. We are both too tired at the end. Plus hanging out all day after is somehow more rewarding."
"Same goes for dates. Have sex at the beginning the date, then go enjoy your time together without any pressure."
Kids In The Equation
"This literally happened today with my wife and me. We have two toddlers so we’re extra exhausted. Earlier today we had the sexy initiation of 'hey, we both showered today, want to have sex after the babies are asleep?' 'Sure.'"
"Then when the kids were asleep, and my wife and I were getting settled into bed, she asked if I still wanted to. I said if she wants to I’m down, but I’m pretty tired and would be fine without it. She said she was also tired and could do without it. So we kissed each other good night and she went to sleep. I’m just winding down on Reddit for a few minutes before I also fall asleep."
"I know this is boring. I didn’t write this to tell an exciting story. Just to share what married life is like for me and probably the large majority of married couples, especially parents of young kids."
Shadow Puppet Technique
"Use my phones torch to shine a shadow of my member up against the bedroom wall."
"Kinda like a bat signal of sorts."
"Turn off the lights and switch on the red lamp beside the bed."
"Walk by him while taking my top off. He follows me wherever I go and it's been 30 years and counting."
Every couple is different, and usually establishing a strong communication bond makes everything else in the relationship–including sexy time–falls in line effortlessly.
I knew a couple who made a game out of foreplay and agreed that whoever got home first from getting off work at the same time got to choose the sexual position that night.
They may no longer be together, but I remember them recalling how that technique was fun for them at the beginning stage and it took the pressure off of establishing when they were going to have sex.
Don't take get too anxious about it. It's just sex, and it's fun.
There are a number of things people partake in spite of the known possible ramifications they have on their health and safety.
Up to and including smoking, bungee-jumping, recreational drug use, or simply bike riding without a helmet.
Indeed, even though they know that doing any or all of these things could possibly lead to their death, they do it anyway.
Sadly, even though many people go out of their way to avoid doing these things for that very reason, that still doesn't mean they keep themselves completely out of danger.
Sadly, there are a surprisingly large number of things that lead to an even more surprising number of deaths each year.
Frighteningly, these are things that the majority of the world's population does on an almost daily basis.
"What causes death more than people realize?"
When In Doubt, Call Your Doctor!
"Your body will become septic, in which it essentially kills itself trying to kill off whatever infection one has."- cacarrizales
"Infections that are left untreated."- raptor-99
Tread Carefully. Seriously.
"On average around 17k people a year in the US die from injuries incurred after tripping and falling."- EdithWhartonsFarts
When In Doubt, Don't Drive.
"Driving while sleepy."- latchkey_adult
The Handrail Is There For A Reason.
"20 million severe injuries each year and at least 200,000 death from consequences of the fall."
"Both my grandparents died because of a fall."- OnTheGoodSideofLife
They Happen To The Best Of Us
"Especially among the elderly, a fall can create a cascade of events that results in death, even if it seems minor at first."-AdmiralBofa
Never Rush Chewing
"Statistically the most choked on food."- SpecSanders
Never Skip A Check-Up
"High Blood Pressure."
"It sneaks up on you and you don't know about it or don't care but it's the underlying cause of so many deaths."- Fear51
Never Underestimate The Importance Of Self Care
"Your body can only handle so much of it and it’s labeled the 'silent killer' for that reason."
"With your high blood pressure and the 5 hours of sleep a night because of the stress, It will creep up on you sooner than you think."- DroppedDonut
Don't Forget To Floss!
"Untreated dental problems."
"A cavity left untreated can lead to heart attacks and strokes."- Lastalmark
"Just regular old flu."
"Many people ignore it thinking it'll go away on its own."
"Globally the number per year is usually between 300k and 500k."
"In the US it can be anywhere from 12k to 50k per year."- PhreedomPhighter
Don't Feel Ashamed If You Need A Break
"I have two family friends pass from heart attacks associated to shoveling the snow."- JD054
There Are People Who Will Help You
"Alcoholism causing liver failure and it's on the rise in the USA."- Interesting_Drop8236
"Peruse your County ME’s records."
"The amount of people who die from alcohol is astounding."- hockenduke
Sometimes, It's Just Best To Mind Your Own Business
"You watch some Hollywood blockbusters and some MMA fights and you think you can do it too."
"I've seen stories of a guy minding his own business and gets rocked on the side of his head. It disconnected his spine and he was dead before he hit the ground."
"There was another story maybe a year ago of a scuffle where a guy was stabbed in the neck and bled out to the point of being unable to stand within 10 seconds."
"Stop f*cking around, it's not worth your life."- Choiceofart
We never know when our number is up or how we'll end our days.
However, with a little bit of care and good judgment, we can at least likely avoid falling victim to all of the above.