Tall, Dark, and Mysterious

7/23/2004

Wow, all of my conversational pet peeves have names!

File under: Know Thyself. Posted by Moebius Stripper at 3:41 pm.

A pretty comprehensive list of conversational cheap shots, and more conversational cheap shots. I can’t think of a way to elaborate on these without sounding either a) passive-aggressive, b) arrogant, c) self-deprecating, or d) some combination of above, so I won’t try.

Okay, maybe a bit - some of these, such as the “Knee Jerk”:

“I would like to answer your question directly, but considering your past reactions / ability to cope with the truth / emotional instability, I feel that to do so would be a disservice to you at this time.” [Other person gets (justifiably) upset.] “See, what did I tell you. You are flying off the handle already!”

might be perfectly understandable, if not terribly sensitive or productive, responses to other tactics, such as the “Pretend Ad Hominem”:

make it seem as if the other person is attacking you rather than making a simple point or correction, especially if you suspect that the other party is correct. Rather than staying on the subject, begin to act hurt–as if you have been viciously attacked as a human being–rather than admit you are wrong, or could do better, etc.

“I can’t do anything right…”

“I suppose in your eyes I am just a total failure.”

[”I think the reason people are honking and gesticulating at you is that the sign says MERGE, not STOP.”] “Well, if you think me such a terrible, horrible person….”

Manipulativeness and emotional instability, alas, are far from mutually exclusive; if I were the betting type, I’d wager that they’re positively correlated. Which is part of why I deal with rudeness and overt hostility a lot better than I deal with insecurity.

Okay, maybe a little passive-aggression.