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What is this?

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What is this?

Postby avatar123 » Wed Feb 10, 2021 8:12 pm

I have to interact with a person in his 60's, who when angry or upset or unhappy with someone, repeats back what that person has said or written, only with the meaning reversed.

For example, if you describe a problem in a particular topic or behavior, he repeats the words but reverses the context so that he is always right. if you say "The weather forecast was wrong today, it was much colder than predicted", he will say "The weather forecast was right today, it was just as warm as predicted". The actual facts have no bearing on this behavior, he will say this even when it was clearly cold. It's done to spite the speaker or writer.

If you point out that this behavior causes problems with his peers, he says that your behavior causes problems with his peers. And so on. Once he is angry and starts this, it can go on for hours, sometimes days.

I've tried to point out that he's not really responding or interacting when he does this, just reacting, but he claims it's a highly effectual method that shuts other people up, and he has used it his whole life. It's clearly a defense mechanism of some sort.

I've seen children with this behavior, but never before in an adult. I think children may do this when they feel they cannot compete or argue with an adult on the same terms. He's extremely sarcastic and critical of others as well, he seldom passes up an opportunity to criticize or argue or attack another person's mistake or vulnerability.

I'm trying to learn how to deal with this better, but am not really sure how to classify it, or where to start. Any suggestions or advice would be appreciated. Thanks in advance!
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Re: What is this?

Postby Muttonchop » Sun Feb 28, 2021 3:03 pm

I have been a CPA for many years and have found many people across all age groups are big Mr. Know it alls. They fail to take responsibility for their own actions and displace their issues on others. I deal with this quite often having my own business for almost 19 years. I would not let it bother you, since you can't seem to reason with this person anyway. For example, I will quote something from the IRS code and they tell me I am not correct. A few have screamed at me as I tell them bad news and they insist I am wrong. My wife is a pharmacist and a number of times she has given people advice and someone says she is wrong. She ignores them. You need to try to be like Teflon man and let things slide off of you.
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Re: What is this?

Postby avatar123 » Thu Mar 04, 2021 7:15 am

Thanks Muttonchop, I appreciate your advice and believe it to be correct. I've done some further research and found it's partly an oppositional defiant personality disorder. He will attack anything he perceives as indicating he is wrong. It's a response to authority, similar to a child who feels outgunned by a parent. It's not something that can be changed by reason or discussion.

I have been ignoring it as you suggest, unfortunately in his mind he regards this as a victory. He believes others don't respond because they are unable to respond. So the behavior is self-reinforcing in that sense.

He is quite intelligent. Recently in a discussion of intellectual property rights, he insisted that cyber espionage and theft by a foreign country was ok if the owner has not acted to protect their rights to the property in that country. He claims to hold numerous patents and have knowledge of patent law. He also defended the cyber theft with a political event from 140 years ago. We all just kind of sat there in silence, so he was triumphant.
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