Why . . .
Why do some people feel the need to argue or challenge people over everything in an attempt to manipulate, control, or one-up everyone else. (They’ve been everywhere, they’ve done everything, they know it all . . . they know what you should do, become, think, act, and even like. Why?
It’s simple: It makes them feel important and feeds their tiny, little ego, to have such answers stored up for all the world to need–one commandeered conversation at a time. It happens, because they have such low self-esteem and too-little respect for others, especially for those who may have more authority, maturity, knowledge, or life experience. And to those who are younger and more inexperienced than this type of individual, they make themselves an idol or a god with all the answers they can pull out of the universe at their own discretion.
What it does: It creates an atmosphere that makes it difficult, if not impossible, to have an in-depth and meaningful conversation with others. Not only that, but it truly sucks the life out of the gathering, because the only one gaining anything is one-upping, ego-tripping, people-challenger, at the expense of others. How fun is that? It’s not. Add liquor to the aforementioned person, and it’s a conversation if recorded that could be looped as it’s the same thing over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over again.
The solution: There are several options (here are a few), and they’ll depend upon you specific situation.
1. Move to another person or group to join or start a different conversation. Each time this toxic person enters that conversation and attempts to hijack it, continue to move. When there are no other conversations to enter into or places to go, it might be time to call it a night. “My, would you LOOK at the time! Gotta run!” Sadly for the guests hosting the gathering, people leave, because there is nothing faster at clearing a room than a self-centered and obnoxious person.
2. Call them out on their b/s (bologna sandwich) and ask them to kindly refrain from one-upmanship and to respect the opinions of the others present. If they cannot, try #1 or simply revert to leaving. You have the right to be respected and do not have to be someone’s door mat. It’s likely that one time you see them, they’re super friendly, but don’t buy it for long . . . they’ll cycle again and get on their high horse only to knock you into a mud pit, because their ego is running on empty. There are meds for mental illnesses such as this. It does NOT have to come at your expense. In addition and depending upon the circumstances/dynamics of relationships, it may be time to stop inviting this individual until they get their behavior under control. Why should your other guests and relationships suffer? They’re not the one with the issues.
3. If it is a person with an alcohol problem or other addiction, or they abuse and manipulate physically and mentally, they may be in denial or simply unwilling to admit they know they have a problem. Until they decide to get help for themselves, and people stop ignoring the fact that they have a problem, you may need to set some hard boundaries to protect yourself and your children: physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. Again, you are not a door mat. You do not have to give your life to such abuse or allow life to be sucked out of you in such hurtful and destructive ways whether it comes from a stranger or someone close to you.
4. You can speak with the individual, but it’s likely to be quickly turned into your problem where it is said that YOU are the one who needs to change your attitude to accommodate their antics. At this point in time, pray, immediately set boundaries, and limit your contact with this type of individual. You do not need to be friends, and you don’t need to worry about playing their games. Don’t stoop to their level of name-calling and hurt no matter how they threaten to hurt you. Don’t get sucked into it, because they are master manipulators, and once they suck you in, they’ve got you right where they want you, and once again, they are in control with you responding to the very games they play. Take the high road, act maturely, preserve your integrity, pray for the person, but live your properly aligned priorities and take your relationship without them seriously. You’re not called to be their doormat or an enabler of such things.0