"Yeah, but this time I *really* mean it"..

I really hate it when I am discussing some kind of issue with someone, and to defend my position on whatever the matter is, I might say something like “Yeah, but remember last time how you…” and the response I get is “Yeah, but this time I really mean it”, or “Yeah, but this time I’m certain”…

Um… so you’re admitting that “last time”, you intentionally misled me? If you had doubts “last time”, why didn’t you mention them… then? Why, at the time, did you convey your unsure, doubt-ridden opinion in such a manner as to indicate that no such unsureness or doubt existed?

Has anyone else picked up on the fact that some people do this? Does it bug you? You’re basically trying to prove a point with someone by questioning their track record, and they defend their position by telling you that although they got it wrong last time, you can’t use it against them, because in that instance, the feelings or opinions they were conveying at the time, weren’t actually their “true” feelings?


Moved from The BBQ Pit to Mundane Pointless Stuff I Must Share.
Pit Moderator

I don’t mean to snipe at you, but it’s very likely that you were using an argumentative fallacy when you brought up cases in the past in which the person you were arguing with was wrong. If your position is correct, you should be able to argue your position regardless of the specific person arguing the other side.

A friend of mine was assuring me that he would quit smoking if his partner became pregnant. I challenged it, because he also told me that he would stop smoking as a NYE resolution, and then again that he would quit by his 30th birthday. He failed at both.

What argumentative fallacy was I using?

I guess I am talking about instances where you are doubting that somebody could be sure or certain of something, so you challenge them on their assuredness by citing their track record of being wrong, and they defend themselves by saying they “didn’t really mean it” last time.

Not enough swear words, Gfactor, or just a slow day in the Pit?

In this case I don’t think he was intentionally misleading you. Quitting smoking is really hard, and he may have had the best of intentions each time. And no one quits by making a half-assed commitment to it.

Like my mama used to always say (or Ann Landers, I can’t remember), if there’s a conflict between the words and the actions, believe the actions. Always.

When I say that, I mean Look I know I fucked up before and I’m actually pretty embarrassed about it, but I really want to try again. We don’t need to discuss my previous failures, and I don’t need you to remind me I said it before. I was there, I know what I said. Still, I’m hoping this time will be different and I’m going to do my best.

Maybe that’s what your friend means, too.


It’s to hide the embarrassment.

Right, so what is the correct response when someone “assures” me of something in which they have a track record of being an unreliable assurer?

If it is something like smoking just tell them that you are proud they made the decision to quit and then fully expect that they will fail so you aren’t dissapointed in them later. Do not indicate that you believe them to be lying. Quitting smoking, losing weight, quitting drinking, and other such things are really, really difficult in the absolute best of situations and starting off with the people who care about you telling you that you’re gonna fail doesn’t help at all.

If they are assuring you that they will pay you back that loan that they borrowed and you are pretty sure they won’t that is a different thing all together.

If it’s a lifestyle change like stopping smoking, getting fitter, stopping drugs, anything like that, the appropriate response is “Good luck with that, I wish you all the best.” You can even add a “Let me know if I can help in anyway,” if you are willing to do that.

You’re coming across as seeing things very black and white: Friend said he would do difficult thing. Friend did not do difficult thing. Friend is now saying again that he will do difficult thing. Friend did not do difficult thing last time, therefore friend is wrong about this time.

Sometimes it takes people a few goes to get things done. Sometimes people never get things done, but they keep in trying. At least give him some respect for not giving up.

While that’s valid, it’s only one example. There are many other’s that would also fit the OP’s ire. For example,

“I’m sorry I did that horrible thing X. I promise I’ll never do X again!”
“That’s what you said last time.”
“Yes, but I really, really mean it this time.”

Where X can be driving home drunk, punching your spouse, or waiting several hours for your spouse to change the baby’s poopy diaper rather than do it yourself when you promised to help out more around the house. It can be more than just covering up for failure.

With the example I gave, my friend was complaining about how his brother-in-law was not giving up smoking as an act of support and solidarity for his wife, who chose to give up smoking for the duration of the pregnancy. My friend was saying that he was extremely disappointed, and expressed a great deal of ill-feeling about his brother-in-law. When I said “How can you be so sure that you would be able to give up smoking in the same situation”, my friend responded with something like “Because I know that I would”. When I pointed out that he has told me in the past that he will be quitting smoking by xyz date, only to then not do it, he said to me “Yeah but I really mean it in this instance”. Wtf? What did you “mean” in the other instances?!

A more mundane example is when a friend might say to me “I assure you, the Saints will lose this week against the Dogs”. And I’ll say “but that’s what you said last time”, and they’ll say “Yeah, but this time I’m certain”. Right… so… what were you last time, and why did you not express your true feelings then?

Perhaps pepperlandgirl has it right, and what’s annoying me is when somebody tries to blatantly cover up a mistake in order to strengthen some position of theirs. Perhaps I feel as though I don’t do this, hence, it bugs me when I see it coming from other people.

You say a non-committal, “Mm hmm.” and change the subject.

Fool me once, shame on you…


I don’t loan money I would need back. I learned the hard way.

I will tell people it’s a loan, 'cause I would like it back- but then it usually turns into an early birthday present or something when it doesn’t come back.

I would take it with a grain of salt, but then I would also expect that the only people saying something like that to me would be ‘ron-like’ (to reference an old thread) or close friends being tongue in cheek.