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I noticed some people around me try to pick on things which I cannot do or have, e.g.

if your car is manual, why is it manual? why not automatic?

or

you should have taken direction from us and not follow yours?

There are numerous times I had faced dumb arrogant people like this yet I fail to satisfy them. Which makes me feel sad thinking they must be right. How can I respond to such people so that they will leave me alone? I don’t want to answer them if I can or cannot afford expensive things. Everyone has their own choices.

  • You seem to have 2 questions here: 1) The title asks how to avoid; 2) the last line is "How not to feel bad". I know these seem related, and they can be, but please either pick one or try to tie them together better. – computercarguy Jun 26 at 23:42
  • Not a dup, but related: interpersonal.stackexchange.com/questions/993/… – computercarguy Jun 26 at 23:44
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    Hi Nofel, I edited out the "how not to feel bad" part as that's really an intrapersonal issue (dealing with your own feelings, rather than interactions with others). I'm still not entirely sure what the situation is though, and it'd be great if you could clarify the mismatch with the title - is your goal to avoid or confront? In what settings do people say things like this to you, what is your relationship to them? Also, if you think there might be a cultural component, consider adding a tag for that too. – Em C Jun 27 at 1:29
  • Your last example makes clear they actually see positive sides in live - themselves. Negative is only what others do. So these people are arrogant. Perhaps you want to edit your title. – puck Jun 27 at 3:46
  • @EmC the reason it is not a intra and inter is the "people" i talk about are my people I interact with daily and it is based on relationship. I will go through the question again as the answer to it is great. – Nofel Jun 27 at 11:40
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The way to react to these people to reduce the likelihood that they will repeat their behavior is to not show that you care what they think.

Them: why is your car manual rather than automatic like any normal person?

Neutral: It does what I need.

Apathetic: Whatever. It's the kind of car I got.

Proud: Because I can handle it.

Which sort of answer doesn't really matter. The thing that matters is demonstrating what they said doesn't bother you.

Your second example is a bit harder to come up with a response, because there are several distinct contexts where I've seen that sort of a response given. If what you did worked and didn't present anyone with any difficulty, you can still give a response along the lines of

Neutral: I didn't think I needed to. And I managed something that worked.

On the other hand, if there was an issue, depending on the people involved and their tone, it could be they were trying to be helpful.

It may be helpful to remind yourself that their behavior demonstrates that your opinion is valuable to them. You're worthwhile. They're dependent on you for something.


Your first example resonated with me, because I used to drive a low end car with a manual transmission, and I got quite a bit of comments about it like you're talking about. But most of the people who were asking me seemed curious, rather than negative. So I'd tell them:

It cost quite a bit less, I get 10% better gas mileage than the same model car with an automatic transmission, and there's a lot fewer people who could take my car for a joyride. Nobody asks to borrow my car, they ask if I can drive them places, so I get social opportunities I otherwise wouldn't have (since I'm a shut-in by nature.) I don't see any disadvantages of it, though at the time I made the choice, it was strictly about not having the budget to get the automatic.

That having been said, I'd probably not have responded like this, had I not had certain experiences in college. Towards the end of my freshman year, I came to the realization that the very friendly people in my dorm I'd been spending time with had some attitudes I did not want to be around.

The one pair of roommates who offered sanctuary from those attitudes were intensely negative people, though not maliciously so. They were probably more negative to each other than they were to me at the start, but seemed to like each other OK. They definitely took getting used to, but they were less of a problem for me than the other prominent alternative.

Having gotten used to being around those two, when I find myself with people who are maliciously negative, I find myself automatically taking it in stride like I suggested above, and they go away, because they don't get what they want from me.

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