180 votes
Accepted

How can I handle my father challenging everything I say?

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? You need to modify your definition of "...
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  • 3,067
85 votes

How can I explain a problem without finger-pointing?

In both of your examples, you ask your partner why they did a thing. This is not explaining a problem at all. It's announcing a problem and demanding they justify or explain what they did. I am not ...
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  • 43.5k
73 votes

How can I handle my father challenging everything I say?

You seem to be an apple that didn't fall far from the tree. When there are two people in an argument who prefer "anything but losing the argument" this is what is going to happen. People are going to ...
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  • 43.5k
69 votes
Accepted

How can I tell my boyfriend "I told you so" without sounding too full of myself?

I will get at the actual question below, but first let me start with a frame challenge: You are mad at the wrong person! You really want this to be about Lilly, but in reality the problem here is ...
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  • 2,243
69 votes
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Is a verbal response that directly expresses anger always the wrong choice?

Always? No. There are times and places for these kinds of reactions. Do I recommend such responses? Not often. But, as I said, there is a time and place where you may need to resort to these ...
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  • 2,619
61 votes

How can I tell my boyfriend "I told you so" without sounding too full of myself?

Short answer: you can't. There is no non-smug way to say the words "I told you so". If your boyfriend is smart, he already knows. If you want to be part of the solution, you need to avoid arguing ...
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54 votes
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Dealing with people who always try to prove you wrong in a conversation

¯\_(ツ)_/¯ It's almost always a no-win situation when two people argue or debate over something (and especially when temper has reached critical levels). What I suggest is to pretend to agree with ...
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  • 10.2k
54 votes

Friend is very nitpicky about side comments I don't intend to be taken too seriously

I live with someone who often tells me that I'm completely wrong but if I push back and say I am in fact right, says things like "I didn't really intend anyone to take that seriously" or "it was just ...
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  • 43.5k
49 votes

Dealing with people who always try to prove you wrong in a conversation

Change the question The strategy I am aware of, which usually also works very well with people you don't know much, or people you absolutely don't want to leave a bad impression with (because of ...
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38 votes

How to let other coworkers know that I don't share my coworker's political views?

I don't think you need to be concerned about this issue, which is great because I don't know of a natural way to do this. It's odd to demand that everyone be aware of views you hold just so they know ...
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33 votes
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How to interact with people who are indifferent to information security?

You have done your thing. If they are not listening to you, that's it. You have no responsibility for them, and they don't even appreciate you trying to help. It's better for you to stop. If anyone ...
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  • 6,206
32 votes

How can I make an argument that my time is valuable?

Welcome to IT! Anyone who works in the field will tell you that requests from family members to fix their computers is an occupational hassle. I've known mainframe operators who get this asked of ...
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  • 32.2k
26 votes

Dealing with people who always try to prove you wrong in a conversation

As someone who is/was in the bad habit of doing this I would say this type of behavior can be triggered by presenting extremist positions. If you tell a person like me The hyperloop is amazing I ...
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22 votes

How to interact with people who are indifferent to information security?

I would suggest two things. First of all, when their lax security measures can impact you, draw a line. Eg, refuse to let them use your devices. A simple 'sorry, I'm not comfortable lending my devices ...
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  • 2,239
21 votes

Is a verbal response that directly expresses anger always the wrong choice?

No, but make sure you think before you speak. I think a huge factor in the appropriateness and effectiveness of such a response comes from how and when you express it. Context is key, and should shape ...
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  • 9,005
21 votes

How can I handle my father challenging everything I say?

Concede that you might be wrong Even when you know you are right, state your position, but include the possibility that you are wrong, and then get back to the point you were trying to make and away ...
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  • 1,144
21 votes
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How can I counter the argument "there is better and there is worse"

Your question can be re-framed as being overcoming resistance to change. In my experience reasons include: The potential to be worse off as a result of the change Fear of the unknown Effort ...
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20 votes

Enforcing to be treated respectfully

If you take a step back and imagine this from your new start's perspective: He doesn't know the environment He's not up to speed with the technology You won't answer questions to help him He is ...
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  • 4,030
20 votes

How can I explain a problem without finger-pointing?

His Perspective More often than not in life, I've found myself in the situation that your SO is in. You mention that he doesn't like to admit mistakes. I used to be the same way. The reason I never ...
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  • 9,032
18 votes
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How can I make my parents (and parents-in-law) accept that I don't want to have children?

I am in a similar situation as yours. Both my SO and I have been working for a while and are in an age at which people are expected to start having plans of wedding and family. Though we want the ...
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  • 14.3k
18 votes
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How to let other coworkers know that I don't share my coworker's political views?

Note that, since this was a workplace situation, I didn't want to be more rude than necessary (which I feel I already was when I strongly refused to talk politics with Bob). You were a bit rude by ...
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  • 33.7k
17 votes
Accepted

How do I argue in an impersonal manner?

I have a good friend with whom I disagree about a lot of things and with whom I often have spirited debates. Because we are so close, I don't ever get angry with him, but I do sometimes get ...
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  • 2,361
17 votes

Friend is very nitpicky about side comments I don't intend to be taken too seriously

I have a friend with whom I end up passionately discussing stuff quite often, but its usually fun and we both learn a lot. That being said, we both have developed very simple techniques to avoid ...
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  • 1,075
16 votes

How to argue for a point of view without appearing like I am sharing that view?

Two things. First, to answer your question, you need only to use "they" a little more, and toss in the odd parenthetical. For example, when someone says "anyone who would vote for X is clearly just ...
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  • 43.5k
16 votes
Accepted

How to tell a stranger that the way I wish to educate my child is none of his/her business?

The real audience for anything you say is your child and your own self. These are strangers: engaging in any kind of argument with them only sends the message that teaching your child is a topic on ...
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  • 43.5k
16 votes

Friend is very nitpicky about side comments I don't intend to be taken too seriously

If you don't care about debating the subject, don't want to start an argument, and are only interested in stopping your friend, then there's a pretty simple solution. Just admit you were wrong. If ...
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  • 1,957
15 votes

How can I tell my boyfriend "I told you so" without sounding too full of myself?

In my opinion, starting a conversation that meant to be "i told you so" is going to cause more harm. It is not resolving the problem and yet will worsen the relationship between you and your boyfriend....
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  • 2,735
14 votes
Accepted

How might it be appropriate to ask someone to back up a claim they make in conversation?

You seem to be conflating understanding their position and convincing them of your position. Those are not the same thing at all. The latter is much more likely to lead to arguments, but the former, ...
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14 votes

My girlfriend wants to move in, but we're having issues

Just talk to her directly and honestly. What you've laid out in the question seems reasonable to me: You haven't been dating for very long Even for how long you've been dating, things have "...
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  • 16.3k
14 votes

How to deal with "why not" as a response to the a why question?

I think you'll find that they are simply throwing back your lazy method of enquiry. It's quite possible the people you are working with are feeling personally attacked when you walk around ...
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