Ever get in an argument because you correct people?

So I was talking to a pharmacist who noticed I had a US credit card, she was chit chatting and said oh you must be doing what my husband is doing which is going back to the US all the time so you don’t lose your citizenship.


She said her husband was from the US and I told her you can’t lose your US citizenship just by being outside the US, she insisted you can. I insisted you can’t, made me wish I had a smartphone to show her the US state department website.

I hate when this happens in chit chatting because I cannot let such obvious bullshit stand!

I think it takes an awful lot of effort to jump all over people. I find that even when I know I’m right about something, doesn’t mean I need to point it out…especially in a judgemental and condescending way. So I just come here and let strangers remind me how it feels to be around such angry and miserable perfectionists who get their rocks off pouncing on others. :slight_smile:

Surely the DSM mentions “projection” somewhere, no? :rolleyes:

It’s ok. It’s been established I’m not an expert on anything. So I am exempt. :grin:

You must learn to let it stand. It’s the only way to ensure your continued sanity and successful life amongst dolts. After all, it’s just ‘chit-chat’. All that is really required is rhythmic nodding of the head and timely "uh-huh"s and "oh yeah?"s and maybe a “damn” here or there.

One of my favourite go-to phrases; “Oh, really? I’ve never heard that before.” You don’t have to tell them the reason you’ve never heard it before is because they’re completely full of shit.

Why not just have a civil discourse that doesn’t involve name calling, judging, or whatever…or even better, why get into it with someone who has no impact on your life in the first place?

Oh and btw ambivalence: I re-read your thread, and I don’t think I spoke in a disrespectful manner anywhere in there so if you’re saying I was projecting, I beg to differ.

I should add, I say that in a curious, respectful way, not a disbelieving way.

No, not on a regular basis. Usually don’t care enough to go into argument mode. I’ll let the person know that I’m not sure they’re right, and if they insist differently, I’ll shrug it off. At least, I try to. I slip up when it comes to my sister. :slight_smile:

Last night is a perfect example. My boss and I had just arrived in Portland and we were checking into the hotel. My boss told the receptionist that we were frazzled because it was 2:00 AM “our” time. The young woman said something like, “I’m pretty sure you mean 3:00 AM.” My boss disagreed. I chimed in and said that she was right (doesn’t everyone know that the east and west coasts are separated by three hours?!) My boss disagreed again. Apart from the fact that I was not about to get into an argument with my boss, I just couldn’t muster up enough energy to keep going. I knew I was right and I also knew it was just a matter of time before he’d realize it, so why make a fuss?

I also don’t have to worry about being embarrassed on the rare occasion when I’m wrong. :slight_smile:

This has happened to me…frequently. I’m not saying it’s a good thing, and I’m trying to work on just keeping my damn mouth shut when someone says something idiotic.

One time I actually caused the indirect breakup of my friend and his girlfriend because I couldn’t let her assertion that men have one less rib bone than women stand. We were at a party when she and I got into a somewhat heated argument about it until I finally directed her to the internet. She never admitted she was wrong but pouted for the rest of the night. My friend later confessed to me that this was the initiating event in him realizing that she was not the girl for him.

I once walked all the way home and back to the bar, reference book in tow, to prove somebody wrong. Al Green did that song, dammit. There wasn’t even a bet involved. I guess I was bored.

I’ve learned pretty quickly that for most people, if they aren’t in school, they don’t want to learn anything. I know this forum is about fighting ignorance, but outside this forum there really isn’t much you can do to change someone’s mind. You can change yourself, but you can’t change other people. It can be very frustrating, but I try not to openly correct someone who isn’t my direct friend, unless it’s a matter that effects me of course.

This was a character trait that my now-husband had when we first got together. It made a lot more sense once I met his parents and saw that the family dynamic was to be constantly correcting each other. It’s a behaviour he sometimes slips back into when he’s stressed out, but he snaps out of it pretty quick once I point it out to him.

I normally let it go when people say absurdly wrong things, but if I know them well enough and care enough to correct their misunderstandings, I’ll speak up. It rarely leads to an argument or disagreement, but the last time it did was with a guy who insisted that you could improve your odds of winning the lottery by looking at past drawings and doing statistics with the numbers that had come up and those that hadn’t, etc. Of course, he couldn’t go into the details of how that would work, and he kept going on and on about it… sigh

I often find myself in situations where people are telling me I “should” do this or that. I absolutely hate having people tell me what I should do, and that would often prompt an argument. Now, I just say “yeah, you’re probably right!” in a slightly sarcastic tone of voice and that usually disarms them enough that they let it drop.

Why are you getting into the argument in the first place? Is it really a productive argument or is it something you’re doing to make yourself feel better?

If it’s the latter, keep your mouth shut - nothing will come of it. If it’s the former, sure go ahead, but only if you feel someone is receptive to your information. Depending upon your delivery, if the other person just feels like they’re engaging in everyday chit chat, you’re tossing a bucket of ice water onto what might otherwise be just banal conversation. If you find you just can’t deal with the perceived inaccuracy, go with Cat Whisperer’s advice and move on.

You have waaay more energy than I do, OP. You gotta learn to smile and nod :slight_smile:

The biggest argument I’ve ever had with my best friend of 20 years was over how many tollbooths there were on I-95 between Washington, DC and Wilmington, DE. She said there were 4, but there are only 3. For the record, I hardly ever get into arguments with her because she cannot stand to be corrected, and for some reason, I felt like this issue was the one issue I MUST PRESS.

There are three tollbooths! One before the tunnel in Baltimore, one over the Susquehanna River (only on the way north), and one right outside of Wilmington. She insisted there was a fourth but couldn’t remember where it was. That’s because it doesn’t exist, genius!

Life’s too short to fight every battle, as you get older this will become clearer.

For when you really can’t resist, the phrasing, you’re looking for, goes like this;

“I know you believe that, and I could be wrong, of course, but I’m pretty darn certain, yada, yada, yada. I think you need to check it out!”

There, now you did your part, imparting your wisdom, the ball’s in their court, and no one’s been offended.

Could she be talking about a green card? I believe there are a lot of rules about overseas travel for green card holders, and its important for them to maintain a US presence.

Unless something is actually at stake, I don’t think it makes any sense to correct people over trivial stuff in casual conversation. Doing that is really about stoking your own ego, at the expense of theirs, which is pretty screwed up. It doesn’t even usually turn out fun for you, as it tends to turn a previously pleasant conversation south. So why do it?

Just say “Interesting. I’ve never head that. I’ll have to look it up when I get home” and move on.