I live with my parents. My father likes to challenge nearly everything I say, up to the point of ridiculousness. I can prove many of the things he challenges but not immediately. In most cases his disagreements with my comments are off-topic. They seem to stem from a psychological need to be right.
I had just come back from a road trip up the country. During dinner, I was making conversation and expressed my surprise about a sign on the motorway saying vehicles more than 2.0m wide are not allowed on the left lane. I remember joking about my car being 2004 milimeters (2.004m) wide.
My father then said my car cannot possibly be 2004 milimeters wide, since it 'cannot possibly be so large'. Well, it is. Since we're not allowed to use our phones during dinner, I could not show him proof.
When I finally convinced him that my car was indeed as wide as I said (although I am convinced he didn't actually believe me), he started arguing that I must have misread the sign. When I convinced him that I have seen the sign correctly, by asking my road-trip partners to confirm, he argued the signs were illegal.
My sister ended up snapping at me and telling me to stop arguing.
There are many more situations like this. Another time, he told me there are no shops under Rotterdam Central Station, so I could not have bought a sandwich there. He last was there 20 years ago, I was there the morning of the evening this conversation happened. Whenever I make a bland, trivially verifiable statement about my day I get told it is impossible or false, almost like: "I was walking home from work..." "No you weren't, you have no feet!" "And saw a cat ..." "Impossible, cats are extinct!" and so on forever...
This happens on average once a week. I try to avoid situations that could spark arguments, but every potential topic seems to be arguable. I tried not talking at all, but I get flack for "not telling anything". He does it with basically everyone, even people he has just met. As soon as they say something he knows about, he has to comment on it.
I would like for this behaviour to stop. It is making me feel like I know nothing and causes me to act like a know-it-all in other places. I even caught myself copying this behaviour that I hate to other people.
My mother and sister tell me to not argue with him, but that is incredibly difficult. I'm fed up with being dumb, I know things too!
My goal is to win these arguments if they occur or to stop them from happening entirely. Everything but losing the argument, basically. How can I do that?
I’m 25 by the way. My sister is just 18, but she’s good at this stuff. She has trouble dropping it sometimes too, though. My brother is 21 but gets in near constant arguments with him. Both my father and I lean towards Asperger. We are looking to move out, which I am expecting to happen between now and half a year from now. I’m looking for a solution that will mainly work for that time, but preferably in the future too.
My father hasn't been examined for Alzheimer's, but I think it is unlikely that that influences his behaviour. His perception of things is simply... odd. The two main sources for his statements are either things that were true in the past (there was indeed no shops under the station when he was last there, there were renovations when I visited and he last visited 20 years ago) or based on misunderstanding of for example news (when Samsung was being investigated for supposedly reducing battery life to sell more phones, along with Apple, he understood that Samsung actually did that, even though this was later refuted).